On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight—to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it.
L’EAU EST LA VIE: FROM STANDING ROCK TO THE SWAMP follows water protector Cherri Foytlin as she leads us on a no nonsense journey of Indigenous resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP) in the swamps of Louisiana. At the film’s opening, viewers are introduced to the Atchafalaya Basin, which was once a Maroon colony–a critical hub of Indigenous and black resistance. Cherri recounts her first-hand experience with the environmental destruction caused by the BP oil spill and how it devastated a local crawfisher man and his way of life. This event caused Cherri to take a hard look in the mirror and ask herself–how did I contribute to this and what can I do to change it? It’s in that moment that the fire of resistance is ignited and Cherri’s life takes a sharp turn. This seed grows into the L’eau Est La Vie Indigenous resistance camp led by a council of Indigenous women.
Sam Vinal is a Director, Producer and founder of the Los Angeles based production company Mutual Aid Media. Sam’s filmmaking career has taken him to Honduras, Canada and Zambia among other places. He uses film as a means to combine his passion for the beautiful struggle and the power of art.
Sam’s films have played at the Sundance Film Festival, The Lumière Film Festival, The Galway Film Fleadh, and the Chicago International Film Festival to name a few.
Sam has made numerous documentary and fictional films in the capacity of Director or Producer including — BERTA DIDN’T DIE, SHE MULTIPLIED (2017), WAR PAINT (2017), OMI & OPA (2017), GOOD KIDD (2016), SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (2016), CALIGINOSITY (2016), and FEARLESS (2014).
To learn more and support the work of the Indigenous and Black led resistance featured in the film please visit their facebook page links to the right.
To dig deeper into the issues explored in the film check out our comprehensive education and discussion guide in the Google Drive Link to the right.
And if you’d like to organize your own community screening you can download our screening guide in the Google Drive link to the right!