provided to Santiva Chronicle
The eighth annual “Ding” Darling Wednesday Film Series continues its biweekly showings on March 18 with a free airing of the documentary The Swamp at 1 p.m. in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitor & Education Center on Sanibel Island.
Produced by PBS, the film is based in part on the book The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise by Michael Grunwald, who will present a special lecture at The Community House on Sanibel Island on March 20 to benefit refuge education and conservation programs. Last season, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) aired a preview of the documentary prior to its official release. This year, it will show the film in its entirety.
The two-hour documentary tells the dramatic story of humanity’s attempts to conquer the Florida Everglades, one of nature’s most mysterious and unique ecosystems.
Explored through the lives of colorful and resolute characters — from hucksters to politicians to unlikely activists — The Swamp chronicles the repeated efforts to transform what was once identified as a vast and useless wasteland for agricultural and urban purposes, ultimately leading to a passionate campaign to preserve America’s greatest wetland.
As Florida copes today with the disastrous aftermath of man’s abuse of the Everglades, The Swamp is a timely cautionary tale of the perils of changing the course of nature for profit.
DDWS hosts the season’s free film showings with sponsorship from Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis.
Below is the schedule of the remaining season’s airings. Films begin at 1 p.m. A short discussion follows each film to allow visitors to gain more from their documentary-viewing experience by listening to other people’s points of view and analyzing what they just watched.
For full descriptions of the films, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series. For more information on tickets to Grunwald’s lecture, go to tinyurl.com/dingswamp.
March 18: The Swamp
April 1: Bird of Prey