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Ron Howard's Rebuilding Paradise Chronicles the Aftermath of Tragedy With Cautious Optimism

Posted On: Jul 31, 2020   |   Posted By: Time

In early November 2018, a wildfire ripped through the California town of Paradise, killing 86 people and destroying more than 18,000 buildings, including, of course, many of the residents' homes. If you've never suffered through a major natural disaster yourself, imagining the emotional-not to mention monetary-cost of such an event is nearly impossible. Ron Howard's bracing, and sometimes upsetting, documentary Rebuilding Paradise brings the suffering of those who lost so much closer to home. It's a film that seeks to stoke compassion, an emotion that appears to be in short supply across our nation these days.
The devastating event that came to be known as The Camp Fire-it originated on Camp Creek Road, in Butte County-was caused by a faulty Pacific Gas and Electric transmission line that threw off sparks, quickly setting the forest around it ablaze. The sequence that opens the movie is the most harrowing. The fire was moving so rapidly that when the citizens of Paradise (a town with a population of roughly...

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