New Ben Masters documentary explores wilderness and the border wall |

New Ben Masters documentary explores wilderness and the border wall

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Bud Werner Memorial Library presents a free community screening of “The River and the Wall,” a new documentary from award-winning conservation filmmaker Ben Masters, at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 13, in Library Hall. The film, which debuted at SXSW this year, follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1,200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes and canoes. 

Masters, who is best known for his feature documentary “Unbranded,” realizes the urgency of documenting the last remaining wilderness in Texas as the threat of new border wall construction looms ahead. Masters recruits NatGeo Explorer Filipe DeAndrade, ornithologist Heather Mackey, river guide Austin Alvarado and conservationist Jay Kleberg to join him on the 2 1/2 month journey down 1,200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

They set out to document the borderlands and explore the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment, but as the wilderness gives way to the more populated and heavily trafficked Lower Rio Grande Valley, they come face to face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters.

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