The Unforeseen (2007)

The Unforeseen
Starring Robert Redford, Willie Nelson

The politics behind the environmental movement...

is the subject of this acclaimed, award-winning documentary from director Laura Dunn and executive producers Terrence Malick and Robert Redford. In the 1980s, at the height of the Reagan era, developer Gary Bradley came to Austin, Texas to capitalize on the city's expansive population growth. His ambitious plan called for the transformation of four thousand acres of pristine hill country into one of the state's largest and fastest-selling subdivisions. When residents discovered the development threatened Barton Springs, a much-beloved naturally spring-fed swimming hole and fragile limestone aquifer, the community decided to fight back, sparking one of the nation's earliest and most important environmental movements. It was an extraordinary win, but one that would be short-lived. This engrossing, beautifully crafted documentary intimately chronicles the ensuing political battle (a masterfully orchestrated campaign by Dick Brown, one of the state's most powerful lobbyists) that would lead to the defeat of Ann Richards and the election of newcomer George W. Bush. Featuring interviews with Gary Bradley, Dick Brown, Robert Redford, Willie Nelson, Ann Richards and economist William Greider, among many others, THE UNFORESEEN links one community's struggle to protect its natural resources to a larger examination of economic development, urban sprawl, environmental sustainability and the American dream.

The best film of 2007 Sundance Film festival, hands down.
— Gavin Smith, Film Comment