Monday, May 7, 2012

What Disaster Movies Leave Out

Today is a theme day in the 2012 WordCount blogathon.  We are prompted to blog about five movies that have influenced our writing.

I don't watch movies that much, but I would like to approach this prompt from another angle:  Movies of the People.

Hollywood movies don't necessarily tell the true story of disasters.  We found that out on September 7 and 8, 2011.

These You Tube clips are going to look awfully boring to you if you have the time to watch them.  No explosions, no car chases, no high drama of mountains tumbling into rubble or Transformers blasting apart New York City or Hoover Dam.  No aliens, no Earth in danger, no superheroes flying through the sky to push back the asteroid about ready to hit. No, this was a different kind of disaster. 

This disaster started with heavy rains and ended up with rivers pouring into cities, into towns, into peoples' houses.  Roads were literally torn to pieces.  We were lucky here in the Binghamton, NY area because no one died (although my next door neighbor had to be deep water rescued from his SUV).. Some towns in upstate NY look like a giant hand picked them up and dropped them from a few hundred feet.  My good friend's mother still doesn't have her local supermarket.   The closest one is some 20 miles away.  She's 92 years old.

These two You Tube clips are the attempts of two local people with cell phones or video cameras to document what was happening around them.  The first clip, which I watched a number of times in the two months after the flood, features a drive down some streets in Johnson City, NY.  The music is "Mad World" by Gary Jules.  It sets the mood quite well.  The drive starts at a point a bit more than a mile from where I live.  Watching it, in a way, helped me make sense of some of this.

The second clip features some beautiful photography. If you don't have time to see the clip, at least see the beautiful sky a few seconds into the clip.

Disaster movies never show the aftermath, either.  The clean up, the putting back together of buildings, businesses and lives omehow never makes it onto the silver screen.  These clips won't show that part, either.  Because, you've got to admit, the truly dirty work isn't dramatic.  And movies, quite honestly, don't do "boring and everyday" too well.

That's what bloggers are here for.

Tomorrow, I will share some recent photos and let you know how we are doing with the part the movies don't show you on the 8 month anniversary of The Flood.


  1. Personally I'm not big on Hollywood type movies. You hit the nail on the head with referring to "movies of the people". I get a lot more out of documentaries that tend to cover all aspects better and not romanticize or terrorize... "everyday" is really more important to me.

  2. I lived in Bing during the 2006 flood, and I still have good friends in the area. They sent me a picture of 17 that looked like a river. I didn't recognize the place.

    Clean-up is so hard- the sheer endlessness of it can be disheartening. Don't let the the size of the job overwhelm you. Like the blog challenge, take it one day at a time. That's what we're best at.

  3. Hope recovery continues. I've lived through some awful flooding and it's amazing what water can do in nearly an instant. Take care.


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