Private Project

To Kingdom Come

The Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers come together in Rome, Georgia and become the Coosa. As I drove east from Alabama along the Coosa into Rome, I noticed the abandoned General Electric transformer plant in the middle of town; a compound of structures and barren concrete surrounded by barbed wire, a hauntingly dead landscape in the midst of a living city. GE contaminated the Coosa River in Rome just as they did the Hudson River in New York. While the Hudson was dredged by GE at the EPA’s urging, dredging of rivers in Georgia has not occurred. In addition to river contamination, residential and commercial properties in Rome have been subjected to GE’s PCB waste. While GE invested almost two billion dollars in the cleanup of the Hudson, they left Rome with a toxic legacy of PCBs that will remain, as one local citizen noted, “to kingdom come.” This film presents the battle between Rome’s Riverkeepers and General Electric over PCBs and explores the underlying cultural encounter between the North and South through candid interviewing and historical media.

  • Brian Campbell
    Director
    Seed Swap, The Natural State of America, The Night the Blackbirds Fell, Damn de Dam
  • Brian Campbell
    Writer
    Seed Swap, The Natural State of America, The Night the Blackbirds Fell, Damn de Dam
  • Brian Campbell, Ozarkadia Films
    Producer
    Seed Swap, The Natural State of America, The Night the Blackbirds Fell, Damn de Dam
  • Coosa River Basin Initiative
    Producer
  • Billy Morris
    Key Cast
    “Billy Morris”
  • Terrell Case
    Editor
    Rumby in the Jungy, The Natural State of America, The Night the Blackbirds Fell
  • Brian Campbell
    Editor
  • The Barbaric Yawps
    Music
  • Little Country Giants
    Music
  • Austen Earp
    Music
  • Seth Turner
    Music
  • Jeremy Wells
    Music
  • Brian Campbell
    Videography
    Seed Swap, The Natural State of America, The Night the Blackbirds Fell, Damn de Dam
  • Matt Bentley
    Videography
    Backyard Chickens
  • Ouzal Hinz
    Videography
  • Jared Brumbelow
    Videography
  • Tia Carter
    Videography
  • Austen Earp, Paper Panda Studio
    Sound
  • Joe Mann
    Camera Operators
  • Jonah Campbell
    Camera Operators
    Seed Swap, The Natural State of America
  • Film Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Environmental, Documentary, Historical, Cultural History, North-South US
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 11 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 18, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Premiere
Director Biography - Brian Campbell

Brian C. Campbell is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Berry College, in Mt. Berry, Georgia. He is the director of the Environmental Studies Program (BA, BS, Minor) on the 27,000 acre campus that houses an agricultural biodiversity conservation project and an applied environmental anthropology research program. He received his PhD from the University of Georgia, Department of Anthropology, Environmental and Ecological Anthropology Program, developed and directed the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) anthropology program, and produces documentary films through Ozarkadia Films. Campbell’s film production project, Ozarkadia Films, allows him to collaborate with students and independent film-makers in the production of ethnographic films related to environmental anthropology and sustainable land management. Campbell has produced three independent documentary films that have screened in film festivals: Seed Swap (2010) screened on public television (AETN, PBS affiliate), The Natural State of America (2011) won the 2011 Society for Applied Anthropology Film Award and The Night the Blackbirds Fell (2013) received funding from the Arkansas Humanities Council, UCA Foundation, and Inspired Media and screened in four states, including a Georgia premiere at the 2014 Rome International Film Festival.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I first arrived in Rome, Georgia, USA as a university faculty member charged with starting an Environmental Studies program, I became entranced by the story of GE and the Rome community. I immediately began conducting ethnographic research on GE's impact on Rome. This film, To Kingdom Come, is the summation of that research and represents a work of love for Rome and its unique and beautiful biophysical landscape and people. To Kingdom Come relates the decades-long interaction between GE and Rome in an innovative way, with cultural history references reinforcing the power of media to affect our perceptions of our landscapes and dominant corporations. As a result of the extensive ethnographic research that underlies the film, diverse perspectives and surprising cultural insights emerge. This is an important, classic case of environmental injustice that has not been treated in documentary form, and its presentation now could not be more timely.