They knew that the power of freedom would renew their hope and replenish their energy.
They did not know that too much pride could blind them.
They did not know that too much pride could make them arrogant.
They barred from it people that looked unfamiliar or talked differently in the false belief that strangers were not deserving.
When new ideas were proposed, people ridiculed them.
When some arose and took more than their share, the people did not stop them, but instead resolved to do the same.
Instead of helping those that were ill and weak. They despised them and chastised them for their idleness.
And even as the river grew weak and muddy, glib leaders said it was strong and clear.
The people became confused. They did not know what to do.
But others said, let us work to make the waters of freedom flow fresh and strong again. It can become fresh by our vigilance. The life or death of the river of freedom is in our hands.
I stumbled across this 1971 animation Freedom River on the Open Culture blog’s list of animated films you can watch online. I think I was drawn to the fact that Orson Welles narrated the short. But then I really appreciated the sad but still true cliche’s of pride, arrogance, and resistance to change that can seem to still dominate American culture. I made this set of GIFs to complement the Tumblr post of them, as here on the blog I could associate the quotes from the narration to each GIF which is pretty cool.
Dan Coleman wrote a short post about the film and mentioned the script writer’s long standing effort to get Welles to work with him, and finally it happened.
The director of the film Sam Weiss went on to work on the 1969 Hot Wheels animated series, as well as one of my all time favorites the 1980s GI Joe animated series. He had a 47 year career and taught animation at USC and UCLA. How awesome would it have been to take a class with him back in the day?