River Voices

About the Film

Of the many floods that the city of Portsmouth, Ohio has experienced, none resonated with the community like the flood of 1937. The flood reached an astounding 74.23 feet, more than 12 feet over the city’s floodwall. Over 10,000 people were forced from their homes and nearly two-thirds of the city was covered in water.

River Voices is a portrait of a city with a remarkable sense of community, and a genuinely American spirit of optimism which allowed it to thrive after such a devastating experience.

In April of 2003, River Voices won the Ohio Academy of History's award for "the most outstanding contribution to public history in Ohio."

Portsmouth in 1937

River Voices is available on DVD for $24.95

River Voices is an hour-long documentary, narrated by NPR's Noah Adams, which chronicles the extraordinary story of Portsmouth, Ohio and its battle against the 1937 Ohio River Flood.

Exploring such themes as fatalism and the strengthening of a community during and after a disaster, River Voices takes the viewer on a journey of strength, resilience and heroism, as the city faced its most difficult challenge, fresh on the heels of the Great Depression.

Through personal stories, historical photos, diaries and 16mm film footage, the film paints a portrait of a remarkable sense of community and a genuinely American spirit of optimism.

Directed by Nathan Lorentz
Produced by John H. Lorentz
Music by Mikael Jacobson
60 Minutes
Widescreen (16:9)

The DVD is also available for purchase locally or via telephone from the Scioto County Welcome Center (740-353-7647) and the Shawnee State University Bookstore (740-351-3155).