Taming the Teesta traces India's mighty Teesta River upstream from the plains of West Bengal to its churning headwaters high in the Himalayas. Along the way, the film tells the story of those fighting back against the rampant hydroelectric development taking place along the river's course and exposes the gross injustices done to the region's unique peoples and environment by those who seek to dam the Teesta.
Official Selection Colorado Environmental Film Festival, Durango Film Festival
Since time immemorial, the Lepcha people have called the Himalayan region that makes up the modern state of Sikkim their home and have held sacred the rivers, mountains, and forests that make up the biologically diverse region. Over the past two decades, India’s rapid development has generated a powerful thirst for electricity, and the country has increasingly looked to the cold, powerful rivers thundering from the Himalayas to supply that desired power. Hydroelectric projects have been proposed and implemented throughout the Himalayan region. Nowhere, however, are the dams as numerous or their effects as acutely felt as in India’s northwestern state of Sikkim, where a ‘cascade’ of run-of-the-river hydroelectric projects is springing into existence. There, on the Teesta River, multiple dam projects threaten the rich biodiversity of the region, the livelihoods of those who live along the Teesta’s course, and the very existence of the Lepcha people’s most cherished river.
Produced, Filmed and Edited by Taylor Graham
Affected Citizens of Teesta
Music by Ross Bugden