What do you know about beavers? They are mammals and build damns was the depth of my knowledge on beavers until watching the documentary The Beaver Believers. Most people believe that beavers are a rodent that needs to be removed or exterminated from their environment. This documentary explains how this belief is fear driven due to lack of education on beavers.
The film, The Beaver Believers, captures and conveys the true benefit and need for beavers within our habitat. It is demonstrated how beavers provide a stability in our ecosystem. They can bring growth and help an area of land flourish that was once desolate and dry. It is discussed how humans have tried to replicate the work that beavers do but the complexity of how beavers create their habitat cannot be mastered by us.
Often times we tend to try and change, control, and fight nature. We think we can make it better. But most of the time we make it worse. If we would partner with nature and creatures, like the beavers, we could create better ecosystems for all creatures and plants.
This film captures the real necessity of this keystone species and brings to light the severe impact we as humans have had on their species, past and present. Beaver trapping in the past nearly caused the species to go extinct and attributes to a lot of the water retention issues in Northwest America. Today, as some try and relocate beavers to help the growth of an environment, others are still trapping and killing beavers, legally.
Sarah Koenigsberg, director of Tensegrity Productions in Walla Walla, WA, is a filmmaker, photographer, and educator whose work focuses on stories of art, environment, and community in the American West. Her films and teaching cross disciplines, illuminating the power of storytelling as a medium through which to explore complex science and policy issues.
Her commercial clients include Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, American Rivers, Knowm Inc, the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, Grand Canyon Trust, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, and Schoen Guitars. As a cinematographer she has shot for Discovery Chanel Canada, Scholastic children’s book publishing, and The US Department of Energy.
As an educator, she frequently works with Whitman College teaching video and audio production, and interdisciplinary storytelling. From 2008 to 2016 she taught the media and storytelling component of Whitman’s environmental studies field program Semester in the West, developing the curriculum for their semester-long comprehensive project, an audio podcast.
The Tensegrity Productions studio doubles as a community events venue, hosting everything from the Sweet Onion Cinematheque film club to live music performances to yoga retreats. Sarah loves strong coffee, dark chocolate, organizing cupboards, and finding an excuse to climb up high things to “get the shot.” She hates sticky jar lids, tangled power cords, and lima beans. Learn more about her work and production company at http://www.tensegrityproductions.com