Holy (un)Holy River

by Jake Norton, Pete McBride Documentary United States 2016 60'

Completed in 2013, this journey of some 1,600 miles along the Ganges River documents the intense beauty and struggles of the world's most revered river. From its source at the Gangotri Glacier to its mouth at the Bay of Bengal, it carries contaminants from glacial headwaters, where freshly fallen snow contains zinc from industrial emissions. Downriver, the river is dammed 16 times to provide hydroelectric power and flood control. All along its course, the water is diverted for agriculture and other uses, and the 500 million people in the Ganges basin further pollute the river with household trash, industrial waste, raw sewage, and the remains of the dead. Haunting imagery, contemplative scenes, expert interviews asking about the destiny of a holy river and symbol of purification.


United States

Film submission

26° Festival


05 June - 11 June 2023

Competition registration




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