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Bushel Presents a Double-Feature Community Film Pick: Wild River & Beneath Pepacton Waters

Written By Editor on 7/10/23 | 7/10/23

DELHI, NY—As part of its Community Film Picks series, Bushel is pleased to present a screening of two films: Wild River, directed by Elia Kazan in 1960; and Beneath Pepacton Waters, shot locally by George Hoag in the mid 1950s and edited by his daughter Alice Jacobson, with Bob Jacobsen, in 1995. This screening, curated by writer and Margaretville resident Jennifer Kabat, takes place on Friday, July 28; doors at 6:45 pm; screening begins at 7 pm. This program is free and open to the public. Bushel is located at 106 Main Street, Delhi.

Starring Montgomery Clift and Barbara Loden, Wild River is part melodrama, part land-rights film that looks at property seizures to build the TVA dam. It is also an unvarnished picture of racism in the South, including a nod to James Baldwin, Kazan’s friend, whose writing on race partly inspired the director to make this work. The film is based on two books: Borden Deal’s Dunbar’s Cove and William Bradford Huie’s Mud on the Stars.

Beneath Pepacton Waters recounts stories of both ‘progress’ and loss as it captures the lives of people in Shavertown and the surrounding area just before the dam comes in. This rarely shown film—constructed from Hoag’s films and news footage and narrated by Hoag’s daughter Alice Jacobson—is bucolic, melancholic, and aching.

About the selection of these two films, Jennifer Kabat writes: “In a place defined by water, these two movies (one shot and made locally) look at how reservoirs—brought with great dreams of progress and change—define and divide their places. In water, we here are inextricably tied to other places, such as the Mohawk reservation of Akwesasne, where lands were seized for NYPA hydro-projects that provide affordable power to large parts of Delaware County. These two films reveal the emotions and politics behind the losses here and in the Tennessee Valley. Both films ask whose lives are sacrificed for progress.” 

Jennifer Kabat’s twinned books The 8th Moon and Nightshining will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2024 and 2025. The diptych is tied to histories in Delaware County, the 1840s Anti-Rent War, and the 1950 Rainmaker’s Flood. Awarded a Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her criticism, she has written for Frieze, Granta, BOMB, Harper’s, The Believer, and McSweeney’s and been included in Best American EssaysShe lives in Margaretville, serves in her local fire department, and teaches in the Design Research MA program at SVA.

This screening is organized in conjunction with Bushel’s current exhibition, “Waiting In the Deep,” a group show that brings together works on the theme of “water.” The included artworks, texts, and engagements ask us to notice, and possibly shift, the ways in which we attend (or don’t) to water. 

BUSHEL is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, volunteer-led, mixed-use space dedicated to art, agriculture, ecology, and action. It is located at 106 Main Street in Delhi. For more information, go to

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