“Rock-Paper-Fish” takes audiences deep into the rainforest of Southeast Alaska where life is inseparable from the age-old rhythms of the Chilkat River. Every year, all five species of salmon return to the Chilkat, drawing the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles, insatiable grizzly bears, and fascinated tourists. The salmon also define life for two communities: The ancient Tlingit village of Klukwan, and a scrappy commercial fishing town, Haines.
Meanwhile, a modern day gold rush is underway in the mountains above the headwaters of the Chilkat. Helicopters fly between cliff-side drill pads as Constantine Metal Resources races to explore the potential of a hard-rock mine. Downstream in Haines and Klukwan, some locals are eager for a mining boom, while others fear that the risks to the Chilkat Watershed far outweigh short-term economic benefits. The prospect of a mine has deeply divided the communities, and left them struggling to keep pace with the agenda of multinational corporations.
“Rock-Paper-Fish” offers a vivid look into the lives of Alaskans grappling with questions as immense as the place they call home.