Interview: Directors of new Trans-Pecos oil line doc A TEXAS MYTH, Screening May 11 at AFS Cinema

AFS is excited to present A TEXAS MYTH, a documentary that tells the story of a West Texas family that invites a Native American activist group onto their land to protest the Trans-Pecos oil pipeline together. Join us at the AFS Cinema on Saturday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m. with filmmakers, David Fenster and Joe Cashiola, in attendance.

We had the opportunity to speak with the filmmakers about their challenges, memorable experiences, and what they hope audiences will take away from the film.

HOW DID THE FILM DEVELOP?

As residents of the Big Bend area for the last 10 years, we were concerned about the expansion of oil and gas infrastructure into this remote and pristine area of Texas, and we were inspired by the response of citizens from affected communities to organize and confront these developments.

WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO MAKE THIS FILM?

We wanted to make a record of the cultural and environmental destruction happening out here. We also wanted to show people that this part of Texas wasn’t some kind of wasteland, but rich in history, culture, and natural beauty.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE DISCOVERIES YOU HAD WHILE FILMING?

Making this film helped us better understand the indigenous history of the Big Bend region where we live.

WERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES YOU FACED WHILE FILMING?

It is such a large region, and there is so much oil and gas development happening here, it was difficult to stay on top of all the new developments, and make it to locations where events were unfolding in time to film them.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD WHILE FILMING?

Filming the destruction of an archeological site by Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, on the equinox won’t soon be forgotten.

WHAT MAKES THE BIG BEND REGION SO UNIQUE?

There are so many aspects of the Big Bend that are unique. It is incredibly diverse geologically and ecologically. It has some of the darkest skies in the country and a world class observatory with one of the largest telescopes on the planet. There is also beautiful and profound indigenous rock art all over the region.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE AUDIENCES WILL TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR FILM?

We hope people will begin to converse publicly about the long term gains and long term losses of the fossil fuel industry. Local communities all over the globe are being faced with hard decisions about the future. For us, indigenous voices in the conversation offer the clearest path forward: protect the sacred resources of the planet. Water is life.

  • Contributed by Sara Tynan

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