Northern Wisconsin Iron Mine Documentary Will Air Saturday

Jun. 13, 2014
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Here in southeastern Wisconsin, it's sometimes difficult to grasp the enormity of the changes the proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin will create. On Saturday, a great documentary called Fault Lines will explore the impact of the $1.5 billion Gogebic Taconite mine on the Penokee mountain range and the folks who live in the area. 

I was able to see a rough version of Fault Lines and it's very well done. You'll get an intimate view of the effect of the mine on the residents, who are split on the mine, which would be one of the largest open-pit mines in the country. The area has a long mining tradition and some residents want to see that revived so its economy will thrive with the company's promised 700 family-supporting jobs. But it also has a vibrant American Indian community as well that is fighting to preserve the area's natural resources and their way of life. The mine would likely have an adverse effect on farming and tourism as well. But it would be a boon for major corporations and the politicians who feed off of their donations. The film is beautifully shot--the scenes of Lake Superior's ice caves are stunning--and treats all of its interviewees with respect. 

Fault Lines was created by Milwaukee's 371 Productions' Brad Lichtenstein, Devon Cupery and Colin Sytsma. If you liked their thought-provoking As Goes Janesville, then I definitely recommend this one for you.

Fault Lines will air on Al Jazeera America at 6 p.m. Central on Saturday, June 14. I subscribe to Time Warner Cable in the city, and I get Al Jazeera America on channel 376, but check out to see how you can access this network.

In addition, 371 Productions will hold a viewing party on Saturday at CAMP bar at 4044 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood. The party starts at 5 p.m. and the half-hour broadcast is at 6 p.m. The producers hope to offer additional screenings this summer and fall around the state. Check out for more information.


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