A curious young boy (Boudreaux) lives humbly with his family in the Louisiana bayou. We watch as he communes with his wild and mysterious surroundings. Then, when his trapper father signs a lease with the oil company (thinking they'll never strike it), he looks on with fascination at the work of drillers nearby, who soon succeed in their search for oil.
Distinguished documentarian Flaherty's portable camera starkly exposes the process of civilization encroaching on nature, and the result is poignant visual poetry. A rich meditation on how these opposing forces interact, it makes the viewer think again about the long-term price to be paid; in that light, it feels more timely than ever. Oscar-nominated for its writing, Virgil Thomson would also win a Pulitzer Prize for his music. (Ironically, Standard Oil sponsored the film!) Once seen, never forgotten.