Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

This riveting documentary film explores the issues of loss of ecologically sensitive lands and the place and future of zoos in the twenty first century. The story revolves around the expansion plans of the Oakland Zoo into the ecologically sensitive park lands of beautiful Knowland Park. One of the many ironies revealed in this film is the Oakland's Zoo's intention to build a native California exhibit by destroying irreplaceable native Californian lands.

When will we ever learn? If we keep handing over ecologically sensitive lands for development the inevitable result will be the destruction of our species.

  • Julia Buss
  • Julia Buss
  • David Millett Publications
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 31, 2013
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Julia Buss

Julia Buss is the author of the historical fiction novel “Black Nightingale: Mary Seacole, hero of the Crimean War”, nonfiction book “Your Care Plan, a nurse’s guide to healthy living”, and co-author of the nonfiction travel book “Flying the Edge of America, the trip of a lifetime”. She is a registered nurse, graduate from Brown University with a degree in English and American literature, and holds a doctorate in healthcare research from the University of Californian San Francisco. Julia blogs about health and diet at and tweets at: @YourCarePlan. She is married, and lives in California.

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Director Statement

Knowland is a wonderful place, but its native grasslands, chaparral, birds, and animals are threatened. This threat to our land comes from the local, city owned zoo. The zoo plans to build over pristine parts of the park, to build an aerial gondola ride, offices, and to create animal enclosures to make a native California exhibit that will destroy native California. Knowland, the film, tells the story of the park, its treasures, and its history. The film asks us to consider the cost of the Oakland Zoo development; the financial cost, the environmental cost, and the cost to the zoo animals that will live their lives enclosed, unable to roam freely in open space.