About the Film
Crying Earth Rise Up
is an intimate portrait of the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on sacred water.
It tells a timely story of protecting land, water and a way of life.
When Debra White Plume’s drinking water tests high for radiation, she sets out to determine the cause. What she finds alarms her.
A nearby uranium mining operation is extracting ore from deep in the ground by tapping the High Plains/Ogllala Aquifer, a huge underground cache of water covering 174,000 square miles from Texas to South Dakota which supplies drinking water to 82 percent of the people who live within the aquifer boundary. The mine's planned expansion further threatens the aquifer.
Elisha Yellow Thunder intimately understands the dangers of contaminated water. A young mother and a geology student, she unknowingly drank water with high levels of radiation while pregnant with her first daughter, whose severe medical anomalies are life-threatening.
Yellow Thunder scours rock outcroppings near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, gathering and testing ore samples. Her grief over her daughter’s illness and her fears that the health of her people are likewise in jeopardy, drives her to search for answers.
Residents living in Crawford, NE, the town nearest to the mine, have historically supported it for its positive financial impact, but recent questions about the mine's safety are raising doubt about the wisdom of tolerating its continued operation.
At a public hearing in Hot Springs, SD, Lakota tribal members and white ranchers sound off about pending permits that would expand the uranium mining industry in the area. The question on the table among those assembled boils down to this: Can we afford the depletion and possible contamination of our water supply?
Crying Earth Rise Up is an intimate portrait of the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on sacred water. It tells a timely story of protecting land, water and a way of life.
It's like Mother Earth against Father Greed.
You're either for uranium or against it.
There is no middle ground.
--Debra White Plume
Lead Plaintiff in case against Cameco Uranium Mine
there is no life.
Crying Earth Rise Up is supported by Vision Maker Media.