The "dead zone" is more than the novel by Stephen King (and its TV and film adaptations) — it's an actual area of the Gulf of Mexico that cannot support life because of extremely low oxygen levels. Runoff from crops, which is delivered to the gulf via the Mississippi River, is partially to blame for this dead zone, as the makers of King Corn show us in their new film, Big River. In this short-but-informative work (runtime: 30 minutes), friends and filmmakers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis canoe down the big river, starting in Iowa, to explore how farming impacts folks downstream and how herbicides can affect the people who come in contact with them. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment hosts screenings of both Big River and King Corn (50 minutes), along with a panel discussion, at the Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; www.moenviron.org) at 7 p.m. Admission costs $10.
Thu., Jan. 21, 2010