Mossville, Louisiana, is a shadow of its former self — a community rich in natural resources and history, founded by formerly enslaved people and free people of color — where neighbors lived in harmony, insulated from the horrors of Jim Crow. Today, 14 petrochemical plants surround Mossville, and it is the future site of a new plant being built by South African chemical company Sasol. The community struggles to let go of its ancestral home. At the center of the conflict is a man named Stacey Ryan, who has lost much of his family to cancer and has seen the neighborhood he grew up in demolished to make way for Sasol’s new multi-billion dollar project. He views these changes from his parent’s home, a FEMA trailer smack in the middle of where the new Sasol facility is being built — and he refuses to leave. Stacey struggles as his power, water, and sewage are all cut off, and his health continues to decline from ongoing chemical exposure. As Sasol encroaches on citizens’ property with buyout offers, Stacey and other community members have to decide whether to exist in a chemical war zone or abandon land that has been in their families for generations.

Mossville: When Great Trees Fall

2019 US 76 min
Festival Year: 2020
Types: Documentary, Feature, Panel Discussion, Watch Now
Topic: Environmental Advocacy and Justice

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