At the turn of the 19th century, Chicago was a city in crisis. Its growing population expanded quickly and precariously across a floodplain. The lake to its east supplied the city’s drinking water while its tributary, the Chicago River, became the repository for industrial and human waste, poisoning the lake.
THE REVERSAL animates thousands of surveillance photographs taken over several decades to document the largest earth-moving project of its time: the rupture of a continental divide and the reversal of the Chicago River. The past speaks back to the present in this immersive, all-archival film transporting audiences to a crucial moment in human history when the natural environment merged with the city and notions of time and space were forever transformed.
2019, 11 minutes