Film Review: Rebuilding Paradise

In late 2018, rapid wildfires surged through Bute County in northern California, leading to an almost indescribable tragedy. The Camp Fire was the deadliest in the United States for a century and in the history of the state. The town of Paradise was almost completely decimated, with the loss of 85 civilians and displacing 50,000 residents. 95% of local structures were destroyed. Ron Howard’s new documentary follows the townsfolk as they try and pick-up their lives.  

Rebuilding Paradise joins the community as they start the difficult process of confronting shared and individual trauma and beginning to rebuild their lives. The fire itself was caused by a faulty electric transmission line and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the company responsible, have subsequently filed for bankruptcy. There are some stark choices ahead for the citizens of Paradise and not everyone has the strength to start from scratch again.

Rebuilding Paradise is the story of a community which pulled together after losing everything. The shocking footage of the fire highlights the deadly force that nature can exert. Sparked by human negligence on a local and global scale. Against overwhelming odds and suffering from a lack of support from both local and national governments, what shines through in Rebuilding Paradise is the determination, togetherness and resolve of the residents.

Rebuilding Paradise will be in select UK cinemas and available virtually from 25 September.  

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