Arcadian Swamps


Length: 43 min
Format: DigiBeta
Language: German, French
Directed by: Jörg Daniel Hissen and Franz Michael Rohm
DoP: Uli Fischer
TV co-producer: ZDF/ARTE, SF, Phoenix
Year: 2008
Worldsales: united docs

The impressive landscape of the Atchafalaya Basins in south-west Louisiana is part of the largest marshland of the USA. For more than 200 years, Cajuns have lived here; the descendants of French settlers who were expelled from Canada in the mid-18th century.
Since arriving in the Atchafalaya Basin the Cajuns lived off the fat of the land. But due to intensive fossil fuel extraction and intensive logging of the primeval cypress forests it is inescapable: these developments threaten the very existence of the few remaining fishermen. For a long time Cajuns were smirked about as ignorant boondocks dwellers, but since they began fighting to retain their unique ecosystem they are finally being taken seriously.

The film crew accompanies the environmental activists Gene Seneca, a photographer, and Greg Guirard, a river-crab fisher, and the Lord-mayor and fisher Sherbin Colette. They take the viewer on a trip into fascinating landscapes of magically luminous lakes and marshland wreathed in mist. One of the Cajuns aims in Louisiana is to win national cultural heritage status for the Atchafalaya Basin in order to preserve the nature and culture of the area. Then money would start flowing from Washington for environmental projects and the creation of ecologically sustainable tourism.

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