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The Unforeseen (2007)

Willie Nelson , Robert Redford , Laura Dunn  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Willie Nelson, Robert Redford, Ann Richards, Henry Fistar Brooks, Gary Bradley
  • Directors: Laura Dunn
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, Letterboxed, NTSC, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: New Yorker Films Video / Cinema Guild
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BDZR2Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,010 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The American dream of owning a house with a white picket fence goes head-to-head with environmental sustainability in this urgent, beautifully crafted documentary. When an ambitious real estate developer sets out to transform thousands of acres of pristine hill country around Austin, Texas into a suburban development threatening a nearby natural spring and local treasure the community fights back. In the conflict that ensues, we see in miniature the struggle between development and preservation that today plays out in cities and towns across the country. A work of stunning visual beauty and epic scope, The Unforeseen is a grand meditation on the destruction of the natural world in pursuit of an often fleeting dream.

Special Features:
- AUDIO COMMENTARY by Director Laura Dunn
- SECOND AUDIO COMMENTARY by Producer & Motion Graphics Designer Jef Sewell, Cinematographer Lee Daniel and Sound Designer Tom Hammond

A BEAUTIFUL, SOULFUL work about real estate development and sprawl... and if you think that s impossible you haven t seen it. Andrew O Hehir, SALON.COM




A BEAUTIFUL, SOULFUL work about real estate development and sprawl... and if you think that s impossible you haven t seen it. --Andrew O Hehir, SALON.COM



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable October 5, 2008
By jd103
This is a wonderful documentary about "development" which focuses primarily on one case in Austin, but is really asking questions about the entire society's choices and values. The filmmakers leave no secret about where their opinions lie on the commentary track, but this is not a one sided Michael Moore type film.

Wendell Berry reads from his work over the opening scene and Patty Griffin's Someone Else's Tomorrow plays over the closing credits. In between you get everything from Bush and Richards and the savings and loan crisis to young Willie Nelson, Ed Abbey's cancer cell metaphor, a kid playing outside, a farmer losing all the fields around him, a couple in their new house, an all night city council meeting, a parade, and some beautiful scenes of the natural world. There are film clips and comments which will inspire and infuriate you whichever side you're on.

The description here says there are two commentaries...on the rented version I saw, there was only one featuring all the people listed. In any case, this is a commentary you'll definitely want to hear because it adds a lot of background information and explanation about the scenes and people in the movie. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All politics is local. June 6, 2009
By meg
"All politics is local." And by that token, this film about specific land development issues as illustrated over decades in the life of a specific town is compellingly universal.

Texans, and Austinites in particular, are the ones whose hearts (and blood pressure) will be most affected by this documentary. But I can't imagine an American alive who couldn't recognize some aspect of these issues playing out in his or her own state, or town, or neighborhood.

The value of this story will be most accessible to people who are already interested in government, environmental politics, and the economy. Though made by forthright environmentalists the documentary will be fascinating to those people whether they fall on the pro-growth, slow-growth, or no-growth side of the issues, and rewards your full attention.

The filmmakers do an excellent job of getting all sorts of voices to speak their piece on camera, from former hometown boy Robert Redford and former Texas Governor Ann Richards, to a local farmer with homespun wisdom, to a couple of articulate local developers and the somewhat laconic lobbyist for the corporate interests with which they were aligned. The most telling moment in the film for me is when that lobbyist, who formulated a pro-growth (anti-environmental) law and got it passed at the state level says -- in a completely dispassionate tone -- "Legislature burned Austin to the ground." (That same lobbyist sent a note to the filmmakers when he signed his release for them to use his footage: "Great job!" and drew a smiley face on the post-it.)

I also recommend the engaging bonus commentary track by the director and other crew members, who talk not only about specifics of the issues and personalities in the movie -- they are all longtime locals -- but also offer some extremely useful tips for documentarians and other shoestring filmmakers. One thing: it's helpful when your mentor and advisor is Terrence Malick (another local).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unforeseen November 25, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film should be viewed by all, especially those cognizant of what is happening to land all over the country, not just in Texas. Unless we would be satisfied living in a super national suburbia dictated by the un imaginative, we need to become aware of what is being perpetrated by land use engineers now. This film is a fine beginning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, thought provoking, and wonderful November 17, 2008
The Unforeseen is a multi-hued perspective on several different issues such as urban sprawl, pollution, unchecked development, and environmental impacts that can result from these events. Additionally, there are examinations of the imbalances between overwhelming financial interests versus the considerations of public sentiment and the ways of life of surrounding communities.

The primary focus in this story is a beautiful and desirable community in Austin, Texas known as Barton Creek and Barton Springs that faces the impending development of a huge new subdivision, a significant population increase, and the dangers it will present. Politics are also a factor as the citizens use their voices and votes to move against the undesirable circumstances looming ahead and this is detailed also in the program.

When looking at the different sides of these challenging issues, there is a good balance of input and debate from different individuals such as politicians, real estate developers, journalists, environmental activists and experts, and many residents of the Barton Creek community. Although all members involved in these events are passionate and concerned for their own reasons, I think the general tone of each side presenting their views was fair and objective.

After watching this program, I came away with sobering feeling that what happened in Barton Creek has happened or is happening in many communities across the United States. The moral and ethical considerations in making sound choices for development while recognizing the environment, conservation, sustainability, and public concerns are vital, now more than ever.

The Unforeseen is an excellent documentary, in my opinion, and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully filmed documentary with remarkable characters
This is the story of the efforts of the people of Austin, Texas, trying to protect Barton Springs and the underlying aquifer that feeds it and provides some of the water to City... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Brad Rockwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative of the Austin area
Rented this because we are relocating to the Austin, TX area and wanted to watch anything that involved that area regardless of the subject matter. Read more
Published on March 21, 2012 by H. B. Garbe
4.0 out of 5 stars Save our Springs
Good narrative, it seems a bit long in places but is very informative. I would like to see more movies like this
on similar themes. MB
Published on March 11, 2012 by Missysbuddy
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing accomplishment
I'm a documentary junkie, and this is the best one I've ever seen. Rather than creating a standard propaganda piece, the director explored each facet of this, the most difficult... Read more
Published on December 18, 2010 by A. Mandadi
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully shot; Simple Yet Complex
Beautiful cinematography coupled with honest, compelling interviews from all angles, make this documentary stand out. Read more
Published on February 8, 2010 by J. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
I don't remember hearing about this production. I came across it searching for films with conservation and "green" themes. This on is definitely worth taking time to see. Read more
Published on May 20, 2009 by Katy D
5.0 out of 5 stars A poetic exploration of the meaning of "development" and "property" in...
Laura Dunn's poetic and powerful film "The Unforeseen" is about the growth of Austin, Texas: about farmers who want to retain a piece of land they can call their own and live on,... Read more
Published on February 24, 2009 by Nathan Andersen
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be Missed View of Austin, Texas
This is a must-see for everyone who loves Austin, Texas. A riveting, heart-breaking view of development in and around this beautiful, fascinating city, over the last few decades.
Published on February 3, 2009 by Carol J. Garriott
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling
I first saw this film at the San Francisco Film festival. For more than a year I've waited anxiously for the DVD release. Read more
Published on November 5, 2008 by A. Fisher
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Topic From this Discussion
DVD- The Unforseen-
I'd like to stream this on my computer but it says currently unavailable. Is there any way to tell when I will become available again?
Mar 26, 2013 by bradymad |  See all 2 posts
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