The Unforeseen | Chicago Reader

The Unforeseen

One can see the hand of coproducer Terrence Malick in this gorgeous, lyrical documentary about ecological destruction in Austin, Texas. Spurred by the banking deregulation of the Reagan years, Austin real estate developer Gary Bradley became the local point man for the giant mining company Freeport-McMoRan, which helped finance his Circle C Ranch community and announced plans for its own 4,000-acre subdivision on the same aquifer as Austin's hallowed natural pool, Barton Springs. Austinites mobilized to defeat the project and pass an ordinance protecting the springs, only to be outflanked by the state legislature after George W. Bush became governor in 1995. Director Laura Dunn presents a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Bradley, but her advocacy is clear enough in the primal images of natural beauty and her subjects' heartfelt statements of respect for the landscape. With Robert Redford (another coproducer), William Greider, and Ann Richards. 93 min.

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