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Urban Legacies, Rural Traditions

Shorts by Pulitzer Center journalists on the environmental and social consequences of urban industries—and a growing movement to return to rural life.

 

INDIA’S TOXIC TANNERIES (India, 2013, 7 min.) World Premiere On the banks of the Ganges River, the city of Kanpur has become India’s leading producer of leather, with 95 percent of its products destined for Western markets. Behind this record production, however, lies a toxic legacy that has poisoned both the environment and people of the region. Dangerous levels of chromium are being discharged into the air, water and soil, leaving a trail of illness and ecological devastation. Produced by Sean Gallagher.

MONOTOWN: ASBEST (Russia, 2013, 6 min.) World Premiere Like many small industrial towns the world over, Asbest, Russia, struggles to survive on the proceeds of an antiquated business—asbestos mining—as younger generations move away. Nikolai Ross, 25, grew up in Asbest and is committed to making it flourish. Produced by Brendan Hoffman and Anna Nemtsova.

DOWN TO THE COUNTRYSIDE (China, 2013, 9 min.) World Premiere In 2011, China’s population became more urban than rural—a significant change for a population of more than one billion, which, as recently as 1998, was 70 percent rural. At the same time, a back-to-the-land movement is emerging in China, led by urban intellectuals who are experimenting with alternative development models in the countryside. A film by Sun Yunfan and Leah Thompson.

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