(San Francisco)—The historic city of Hudson, New York, is confronting a modern Goliath: its own future. TWO SQUARE MILES tracks the conflicts that unfold as a proposed cement plant threatens to reshape a small community on the banks of the Hudson River. Once renowned for its whaling industry and notorious for its cavalier acceptance of corruption and prostitution, we meet Hudson's colorful and passionate citizens who are fighting to save the town's unique character, breathing life into the exercise of local democracy.
TWO SQUARE MILES will have its television premiere on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Terrence Howard, on Tuesday, November 28, 2006, at 10pm (check local listings). Also airing during November’s salute to Politics and Journalism is PAUL CONRAD: DRAWING FIRE (November 7) and DEMOCRACY ON DEADLINE (November 21). The questions explored about the future of Hudson are similar to the concerns of citizens in towns and cities across America. How is the global economy affecting our communities? Can a traditional small town main street, with mom and pop stores, compete with big-box stores and consolidation? Can goals of environmental conservation and economic development co-exist? Can artsy exiles from the big city co-exist with the long-time, working class population? Can idealistic goals drive real political change?
TWO SQUARE MILES is a window into the rapidly changing fabric of American communities, not just in upstate New York but nationwide. By exploring its history, its present, and its options for the future, the film celebrates the wide-ranging diversity and unusual characters that make small town America so unique. The TWO SQUARE MILES interactive companion website (pbs.org/twosquaremiles) features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film and more.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Barbara Ettinger (Director/Producer) lives in Germantown, NY, ten miles outside of Hudson. TWO SQUARE MILES is Barbara's second feature documentary. Her first, Martha and Ethel, told the heartfelt story of two women and their childhood nannies. It competed at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, screened at the Toronto Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Martha and Ethel was purchased by Sony Pictures Classics for national and international theatrical release, and was shown nationally on Cinemax. She received a Bachelor of Arts at Manhattanville College, completed the certificate program at the International Center for Photography, where she studied documentary and portrait photography, and was awarded a Master of Arts from Stanford University in education. After co-founding the Native American Preparatory School in New Mexico, she returned to her home in upstate New York.
Sven Huseby (Producer) is a retired independent school head who works with environmental justice issues. He is especially involved in helping non-profits to build organizational capacity and plan for the long term. As someone with many years of experience in development work, he focused on securing funding for the film. He is married to Barbara Ettinger and he is a graduate of Yale College.
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