DER Documentary

Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000

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by Susan Edwards and Dorie Clark
color, 30 min, 2010

This DVD is closed-captioned for the hearing impaired

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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In the 1960s, the Nashua River in New Hampshire and central Massachusetts was one of the 10 most polluted in the country, clogged with multicolored, toxic sludge from nearby paper mills.

Around that time, housewife Marion Stoddart moved to the area with her family, so close to the river they could smell its noxious fumes. At a low point in her life, she decided to fight her own emptiness by taking on the biggest challenge she could find - cleaning up the Nashua. Her dramatic success in mobilizing the community showed people that change was possible, even though they'd lost hope.

Marion's efforts helped get the Massachusetts Clean Rivers Act passed so that companies weren't allowed to pollute rivers like the Nashua anymore. In the process, she won a United Nations award, was profiled in National Geographic, and had a widely-read children's book written about her. Her secret? An ordinary person can do extraordinary things when they refuse to give up.

Thanks to Marion, children in the Nashua River Watershed and around the world have come to understand that one person can make a difference, even when the odds seem impossible.

“Individuals like Marion Stoddart--who are able, against great odds, to effect significant environmental change within their lifetimes--are one of our best teaching tools and opportunities to inspire.” — Professor Ninian Stein, San Jose State University
“A grassroots crusader for the Nashua River, Marion Stoddart serves alongside Rachel Carson as a powerful example of an individual's capacity to muster vast environmental change even in the face of industrial and political inertia. Edwards' film captures Stoddart's determination and single-mindedness with nuance and perspective, offering not only the story of her victories, but the personal and family risks she took to achieve them.” — Caitlin Boyle, Founder, Film Sprout
“Work of 1000 is more than just a documentary detailing the success of environmental activism in changing things for the greater good; It is the story behind the success - that a person, a housewife in the 1960s - can do the work of a thousand and make a difference in the world. It's a powerful message; one we can all learn from.” — Daniel Edmonds, Vox Magazine
“Having the screening of Work of 1,000 followed by an interview with Marion Stoddart was a compelling lifetime experience. When you learn what one 'ordinary' person can and did do, you are moved and inspired. ” — Owen Smith Shuman, Director, Groton Public Library
Americans feeling distraught as they watch thousands of gallons of oil pour into the Gulf of Mexico every day might take heart from this story about Massachusetts environmental visionary, Marion Stoddart.” — John Dyer, Boston Globe
“Marion's story and the results of her work give me hope for the future.” — Patricia B. Campbell, Ph.D. Researcher in Science and Math Education Equity
“This film provides unique learning opportunities and will enhance interest in the environmental science and engineering fields and leadership development for all.” — Larisa Schelkin, Executive Director of the DOME Foundation
Thanks to Susan Edwards' new documentary Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000, we get to meet one of America's most dedicated environmentalists.” — Pamela Burke, The Woman's Eye

Related Resources
Additional info and resources for learning and action are available at

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Best Short Documentary, Silent River Film Festival, USA, 2012
Best Documentary Short, Rivers' Edge Festival, Paducah, KY, 2011
AT&T Award for Environmental Stewardship and Conservation, Arpa International Film Festival, 2011
Projecting Change Award, Project Change Film Festival, Vancouver Canada, 2011
Speak Out Award, 44th Annual Humbolt Film Festival, Arcata, CA, 2011
Best Short Documentary, Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, New Zealand, 2010
Best "Call To Action", Green Screen Environmental Film Festival, Venice, CA 2010
10th Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, 2012
Lake Arrowhead Film Festival, U.S.A., 2012
Boston International Film Festival, U.S.A., 2012
Wild & Scenic Film Festival Tour, United States, 2012
Wild & Scenic Film Festival, United States, 2012
Boston International Film Festival, Boston MA 2012
Portland Oregon's International Film Festival, Portland OR, 2012
Sedona International Film Festival, Sedona AZ, 2012
Bend Film Fest, Bend, OR, 2011
Berkshire International Film Festival, Great Barrington, MA, 2011
Citizen Jane Film Festival, Columbia, MO, 2011
CINE Montana International film Festival, Missoula MT, 2011
Los Angeles International Women's Film Festival, West Hollywood CA, 2011
Talking Pictures Festival, Evanston, IL, 2011
Switzer Foundation Fellows Spring Retreat and Study Tour:
"A Case Study of Community Revitalization and River Restoration: The Nashua River", 2011
Women's Film Festival, Brattleboro, Vermont, 2011
Urban River Restoration and Cities of the Future Conference, Cambridge, MA, 2010

TV Broadcasts
Maine Public Broadcast Network, 2013

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