The Unforeseen
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In the 1980s, an ambitious real estate developer came to Austin, Tex., with a dream--to transform miles of pristine wilderness into a sprawling self-sufficient city. When the development threatened a local treasure, a fragile limestone aquifer and a naturally spring-fed swimming hole, the community decided to fight back. Laura Dunn's lyrical and beautifully crafted documentary uses this landmark struggle--a microcosm of what's happening in communities across the country today--to consider the cost of the American dream.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"By turns rapturously beautiful and unspeakably sad while considering the consequences of unchecked urban sprawl."
‑ Joe Leydon, Houston Chronicle
"No one who sees this intriguing documentary will want to argue with reporter Greider when he forcefully insists, "We need a more mature regard for the future." We do indeed."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"If The Unforeseen has a fault, it would be a slight lack of focus. A flawed, but beautiful documentary."
‑ Craig Phillips, GreenCine
"A thought-provoking documentary that's both informative and strangely poignant--as well as beautifully shot and edited."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Helmer [Laura] Dunn, though her heart is on her sleeve, gives an even-handed view of things from both sides."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Even if the director eventually hard-pedals her pantheist imagery into cliché, this inconvenient truth is discreet, intimate and regularly surprising."
‑ Jonathan Crocker, Time Out
"[Cinematographer] Daniel has never shot a film for Malick, though you'd hardly guess so, given The Unforeseen's poetic and dreamy shots of nature that, like the images that open the Malick's "The Thin Red Line," hint at an Earthly paradise."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Powerful study of a landmark struggle between environmentalists and real estate developer in Austin, Texas in the early 90s. A parable for our exhausted, consumerist society that is choking itself to death."
‑ Louis Proyect,
"Laura Dunn captures the national ecological battle in microcosm..."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"What do Willie Nelson and one of the world's biggest environmental killers have in common? Austin Texas! A very local perspective on the corporate war on the environment"
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Plainspoken yet urgent, it makes the wrist-slashingly depressing topic of real-estate development somehow transcendent."
‑ Mark Holcomb, Time Out New York
"The Unforeseen is a poetic and high-minded meditation on American developers' manifest destiny and the cancer it introduces into the natural world."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"The result is an expansive and ambivalent testament to human ingenuity, human intransigence, and nature's endangered yet enduring power to move."
‑ Josh Rosenblatt, Austin Chronicle
"This one purports to be different by including interviews with the evil, rich developers, but the film is very subtly slanted away from them."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Though fittingly directed by Laura Dunn, one can't help but feel the presence of producer Terrence Malick."
‑ Rob Humanick, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Unforeseen on Rotten Tomatoes

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