During the Heartland Flood of 2011, the United States Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the Birds Point levee in southeastern Missouri’s bootheel region, allowing 550,000 cubic feet of water per second to flood into the Birds Point-New Madrid spillway. Pinhook, Missouri, a small African American town of approximately fifty residents located inside the spillway, was completely destroyed by this action. The residents of Pinhook weren’t consulted about the decision to operate the floodway, they were never officially notified of the mandatory evacuation preceding the breach, and they were not assisted in getting themselves or their property out of the path of the raging waters of the Mississippi River.
Taking Pinhook is a documentary film that tells the story of a proud community, the destruction of their town, and their ongoing fight to rebuild on higher ground nearly three years after the levee breach. A film about race, invisibility, environmental justice, political indifference, and governmental neglect, Taking Pinhook attempts to shine a light on the unjust destruction of a rural Missouri town and the inspirational struggle of a community to survive.
Directed by: Todd Lawrence and Elaine Lawless (26 min)