March Point follows at-risk Swinomish teenagers learning about their environment

Tonight, PBS’ Independent Lens airs a documentary with a fascinating set-up and three unlikely stars: March Point is both about and by three Swinomish Tribe teenagers who landed in drug rehab, but were let out to make a documentary on the impact of oil refineries on their community.

PBS says the documentary “follows the ambivalent and once-troubled teens as they come to understand themselves and the threat their people face,” which comes in part because “Shell Oil built two refineries on land once owned by the tribe, chemicals made their way into the water, tainting the seafood and shellfish that the Swinomish eat daily.”

Directors Tracy Rector and Annie Silverstein run Longhouse Media and the Native Lens Project, which exists “to catalyze Indigenous people and communities to use media as a tool for self-expression, cultural preservation, and social change” and “supports the growth and expression of Indigenous youth through digital media making.”

In this excerpt from the documentary, the three teenagers–Travis, Nick, and Cody, who are now finishing high school and, for two of them, applying to college–go to Washington, DC, to meet their senator and discuss the environment:

March Point [PBS]
March Point official site

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.