If you’re a landowner in the state of Texas there are two words you never want to hear, “Eminent Domain.”  They mean the government or its agent, in this case, the energy company Kinder Morgan, has a right to claim your private property for public use and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.  Sure, you’ll get compensated for your land (maybe) but at a fraction of what it’s worth and after the appropriation takes place, you can rest assured that it will be worth a lot less.  This is what happened in 2018 to a group of landowners in the Texas Hill Country, their story is the basis for the eye-opening documentary “Battle for the Heart of Texas” which screens tonight as part of the Earthx Film Festival in Dallas.

Film industry veteran John Claiborne Brown makes his documentary directorial debut by showcasing what author-historian Joe Nick Potoski called “the biggest hypocrisy on the part of leadership in Texas”.  Watching these helpless landowners battle a big corporation can be vexatious, and one must raise the question, “Do we have any rights?” as “Battle” captivates the viewer by incorporating interviews and candid footage that also illustrates the permanent damage done to the environment as the Permian Highway Pipeline cuts through the Edwards Aquifer which could affect the drinking water for millions of Texans.

“Battle for the Heart of Texas” will have its World Premiere tonight at the Studio Theater located at 2400 Flora Street in Dallas as part of the Earthx Film Festival.  Director and Wimberley resident John Claiborne Brown will be in attendance, and you can purchase tickets for $10 here https://bit.ly/3LcLakg.  The screening is sponsored in part by Dallas Film (DIFF) and there will be a post-screening Q & A session with the filmmakers hosted by DIFF Artistic Director, James Faust.  You can also catch the documentary at the Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg on June 4th. 

The EarthX Film Festival features four days of film, interactive environmental programs, and events set in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, May 12-15th.  This year’s theme, “A Celebration Of The Outdoors,” will feature live music, featured speakers, local food, and culture.  The festival’s mission is to bring awareness of the environmental crisis in order to create sincere action on both an individual and communal scale; to inspire local and global change on how we as humans affect our home planet and our fellow beings.

The event sponsored by Curiosity will feature over 75 feature-length and short films.  For more information and tickets, go to: https://earthxfilmfestival.org/ or download the app available on iOS and Android.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Joe Friar

Member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Latino Entertainment Journalists Association (LEJA), the Houston Film Critics Society, and a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.