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DamNation (2014)

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Ben Knight & Travis Rummel

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About the Movie

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades with-out access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a meta-morphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 6
  • Fresh: 3
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Lumps together its grievances and interviews in a way that feels scattered and geared toward those inclined to agree. – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times, May 8, 2014

Rotten: "DamNation" does little in the way of presenting the pros alongside the cons of dams, resulting in cheerful feature-length propaganda that seems to be disagreeing with no one in particular. – Geoff Berkshire, Variety, May 18, 2014

Fresh: Directors Ben Knight and Travis Rummel have made a fleet movie with a convincing argument for systemic dam removal (some of which is caught thrillingly on film) and arresting nature-drenched cinematography. – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2014

Fresh: A quick, smart documentary about the havoc one country can create in its native fish populations by building 75,000 dams over an 80- or 90-year span. – Chris Packham, Village Voice, May 6, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Beautifully shot film- interesting subject of American dams, which are often overlooked, yet are integral to the story of fresh water in America.

Beautiful Film; worth watching

This is a great documentary, shot with stunning cinematography, that takes a subject I never knew anything about and made me care about it immensely by the end. I highly recommend that anyone who cares about rivers, Salmon and the environment watches this film.


I never post reviews unless something impresses me to a great degree. This film addresses the negative consequences of America's addiction to dams while offering stunning images and both thrilling and moving activism.

DamNation (2014)
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Customer Ratings