Docu-Mania | Chicago Reader

Docu-Mania

Six short documentaries. Incensed by nocturnal emissions of acrid smoke from a nearby factory, Dorian Breuer made his video The Air We Breathe in Pilsen, in which he marches over to the factory looking for answers and gets the expected runaround (one employee claims that the smoke is only steam). The Mexican legend of La Llorona, a desperate woman who drowned her children, provides the thematic backdrop for Jenny Stark and Mark Yzaguirre's Floods, Ghosts and Contamination, about a cluster of towns near San Antonio that have been plagued by man-made environmental chaos. Matt McCormick's video American Nutria traces the history of the eponymous aquatic rodent in the U.S. Imported from Argentina in the 1930s and '40s to supplant the waning supply of beaver pelts, nutrias have since become a colossal nuisance, chomping through the vegetation of the Louisiana waterways. 79 min.

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