Tarleton State University’s Environmental Society will present a free public screening of DamNation, a controversial documentary film that explores the change in national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that America’s future is bound to the life and health of its rivers.

The film will be shown Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 7-9 p.m. in Room 110 of Tarleton’s Lamar Johanson Science Building.

Filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel explore the recent movement to remove old and outdated dams to restore natural river systems across the United States, and profile activists and advocates who are working to free the rivers. Winner of the SXSW Film Festival, the documentary delves into the science, economics and history of dams—30,000 of which were erected in the U.S. between 1950 and 1970.

Made over three years, DamNation shows how far and how quickly ideas have changed in the last 50 years. Diverse interests across the country are coming together to remove obsolete dams and find more cost-effective options to meet power, shipping, irrigation and other needs, while helping to restore rivers, preserve tribal customs, recover fish stocks, revitalize waterfronts, improve recreational opportunities and render watersheds more resilient to climate change.