NCLAFF: Dis.em.POWER.ed: Puerto Rico's Perfect Storm
Dir. Roque Nonini. Written by Sandi Smith-Nonini. Puerto Rico. 2019. 50 min.
In the fall of 2017 Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, wiping out the electric grid and plunging 3 million people into the worst blackout in US history. Roughly 3000 people died in the months after the storm and thousands lived in the dark for nearly a year. In the words of a New York Times report, Puerto Rico "all but slipped from the modern era" (Glanz and Robles 2018).
How could this happen? A filmmaker and anthropologist teamed up to tell the story of the root causes behind the long blackout. They asked what does it mean when a modern place that has enjoyed electric services for over 50 years is shut down by one extreme climate event? Are there warnings here for the rest of us?
Followed by presentation:
Aftermath: Puerto Ricans Rebuild After María
School of Media and Journalism, UNC-CH. 2018
Q&A with Roque Nonini and Sandi Smith-Nonini following the film.