The River and the Wall

  • The Wonder The Wonder


Sequoia 2 Sun, May 5, 2019 4:00 PM
Film Info
Section:Art of Impact
The Great Outdoors
Running Time:99 min.
Premiere Status:California
Director:Ben Masters
Producer:Hillary Pierce
Cinematographer:John Aldrich
Dave Adams
Korey Kaczmarek
Phillip Baribeau
Brandon Widener
Collin Baggett
Editor:John Aldrich
Cast:Austin Alvarado
Jay Kleberg
Heather Mackey
Ben Masters
Filipe DeAndrade
Beto O'Rourke
Will Hurd
Print Source:Fin and Fur Films
Note Writer:Leah LoSchiavo


As the debate over construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border rages on in Washington, filmmaker Ben Masters (Unbranded), ecologist Heather Mackey, conservationist Jay Kleberg, wildlife photographer Filipe DeAndre, and Rio Grande river guide Austin Alvaredo set out to transform the perception of the borderlands region. Embarking on a 1200 mile journey from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico, the five environmentalists document the wild natural beauty of one of the North America’s most diverse ecosystems and address the impact of a proposed wall on the region’s many inhabitants, including an interview with Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Stunning landscapes, beautiful wildlife, and genuine moments of comradery, jubilation, and peril punctuate their adventure through this misunderstood and imminently threatened natural wonder.

IN PERSON: Producer Hillary Pierce

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Additional Information

Ben Masters grew up in West Texas, studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M University, and spent four years working on a border ranch near Laredo. Masters is best known for Unbranded, a feature documentary on Netflix, in which he and three friends adopted 16 wild mustangs, trained them, and rode 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada to inspire wild horse adoptions. He is a published author, a National Geographic photographer, cinematographer, and writer. His work has received dozens of domestic and international awards including the Audience Award at Hot Docs International Film Festival, the People’s Choice Award at Banff Film Festival, and the Audience Award at Telluride Mountainfilm.