The Memory of Fish

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USA | 2016 | 54 minutes | Jennifer Galvin, Sachi Cunningham

Watching as the wild salmon he loved began steadily disappearing, retired mill worker-turned-conservationist Dick Goin decided to dedicate his life to restoring Washington's Elwha River by battling for the biggest dam-removal project in U.S. history.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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4:00 PM Date has passed SOn Standby Directors Jennifer Galvin, Sachi Cunningham, Ed. Erin Barnett, Comp. Gil Talmi scheduled to attend

Monday, May 30, 2016

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

3:00 PM Date has passed Directors Jennifer Galvin, Sachi Cunningham, Ed. Erin Barnett, Comp. Gil Talmi scheduled to attend

For more than 40 years, Dick Goin worked at the Rayonier pulp mill in Port Angeles, Washington. But to the locals, Goin, a Dust Bowl survivor, is an environmental legend for his tireless efforts to protect vital salmon habitats along the nearby Elwha River. Every year, Goin, who nurtured a lifelong love of sport fishing, would see the number of salmon returning to spawn on the Elwha dwindle, ultimately plummeting from 400,000 breeding pairs at its peak to just 3,000 by 2011. Alarmed, Goin began a decades-long campaign, even after his retirement in 1991, advocating for the removal of the main culprits—the Elwha and the Glines Canyon hydroelectric dams that had drowned the ancient spawning grounds. By the 1990s, the power output from the dams became so negligible that even the federal government agreed the crumbling structures had to go. Goin passed away from natural causes last year at age 83, but he lived long enough to witness the completion of the $325 million effort to remove the dams in 2011—the largest such project in U.S. history. This documentary, narrated by actress Lili Taylor, shows how Goin's life was inextricably intertwined with the life cycles of wild salmon, and how the determination of one committed individual could restore the mighty life force of a dying river.

Director Biography
A scientist and a filmmaker, Jennifer Galvin is internationally recognized for her work at the intersection of environment, health, media, and story. Sachi Cunningham is a filmmaker, photographer, and Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at San Francisco State University. Her award-winning stories have screened at festivals worldwide.

Sponsored by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, CityArts, Seattle Weekly

  • Director: Jennifer Galvin, Sachi Cunningham
  • Principal Cast: Narrated by Lili Taylor
  • Premiere Status: World Premiere
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 54 minutes
  • Producer: Jennifer Galvin
  • Screenplay: Erin Barnett, Fernanda Rossi, Jennifer Galvin
  • Cinematographers: Sachi Cunningham, Jennifer Galvin
  • Editors: Erin Barnett
  • Music: Gil Talmi
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: GALVIN: Free Swim (2009); CUNNINGHAM: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP