Did You See This?

After the Drought

A small California town buckles under years of environmental disaster.

The small town of Stratford, California, has been ravaged by drought for years. In this short film, director Joris Debeij talks to locals, hearing the personal stories of how they’re affected by the drought.

These conversations point to heartbreaking effects of this environmental disaster. A local farmer has to sell his land to earn money because he can’t farm without water. “It’s land that I worked with my dad, and it’s gone,” he says.

Elsewhere in Stratford, a river that was once a local swimming hole for the town’s children no longer exists. Stratford’s farm workers have no money to spend, so store owners live on the verge of shuttering. By putting the audience in these Californians’ shoes, this film helps the viewer fully realize the effects of a drought, big and small.

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