Mossville: When Great Trees Fall

Alex Glustrom, Daniel Bennett, Katie Mathews, Catherine Rierson, Linda Karn, Michelle Lanier | 2019 | 75 min.

2020 Official Selection

Mossville, Louisiana is a shadow of its former self – a community rich in natural resources and history, founded by formerly enslaved people and free people of color – where neighbors lived in harmony, insulated from the horrors of Jim Crow. Today, Mossville is surrounded by 14 petrochemical plants, and is the future site of apartheid-born South African-based chemical company Sasol’s newest plant.

The community struggles to let go of their ancestral home – and at the center of it all is a man named Stacey Ryan. In the past ten years, Stacey has lost much of his family to cancer and seen the neighborhood he grew up in demolished to make way for Sasol’s new multi-billion dollar project. He experiences these changes from the view of his parent’s home, a FEMA trailer smack in the middle of where the new Sasol facility is being built – and he refuses to leave. Stacey struggles as his power, water, and sewage are all cut off, and his health continues to decline from ongoing chemical exposure. As Sasol encroaches on citizens’ property with buyout offers, Stacey and other community members have to decide whether to exist in a chemical war zone, or abandon land that has been in their families for generations.

More Information:

www.mossvilleproject.com