Reviewed by Tom Ipri, Drexel University
Ecology, Environmentalism, Global Warming
Date Entered: 3/2/2015
Focusing mainly on the New Jersey and North Carolina shore lines, Shored Up examines the troubled relationship between nature and those who want to build beach homes and communities. Taking Hurricane Sandy as a starting point, Ben Kalina’s film traces the history of shore development with an emphasis on the more recent trend of building expensive homes in flood and erosion prone areas.
Shored Up presents a short but effective overview of the history of shoreline development along the east coast. This growing development clashes with the effects of climate change and communities are forced to keep rebuilding. Some areas enlisted the Army Corp of Engineers to extend their beaches.
Scenes of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy provide a timely and moving example from recent history. Interviews with longtime residents of select coastal towns put a human face to the threat of property destruction.
The film cumulates with the shocking and disturbing decision by North Carolina politicians to ban discussion of the accelerated rise of sea level. Shored Up excels at showing the conflicting interests at play. It provides a great overview of the effects that climate change is having on coastal communities and provides a disturbing portrait of how those who have economic interests in these areas have their heads in the sand, so to speak.