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Reversing the Mississippi

  • Ian Midgley, Director
  • Christina Heller, Producer
  • Siku Thompson, Producer
  • DJ Turner, Producer

man in white hard hat soldering.

About the Project

The Spark follows two stories asking the questions: What does it truly take to fix the world's problems? What must you sacrifice? What must you endure?

We begin with Dr. Marcin Jakubowski in rural Missouri. His staff with Open Source Ecology is creating the 50 machines necessary to build a civilization from scratch. They design and test these machines, and when ready, the plans are released for free. Despite their momentum, winter approaches and morale wanes. Discontent is brewing; the project is threatened. Without the money to fix living conditions and maintain a crew, can it happen?

This story is intertwined with that of Nat Turner, who drove a school bus to New Orleans, with a dream to help the lower 9th ward. He transformed a hurricane-wrecked store into a school for at-risk youth. He teaches and pays them to grow food, which he then sells to local restaurants. Yet Turner faces dissension among a community suffering from the physical and emotional wounds of Hurricane Katrina.

The Spark looks at environmental abuse, human poverty, and the underground attempts to combat these diseases. Is it possible to fix what's broken? And what is that spark that drives people to try, despite its difficulty?