The Unfinished Fight of Seldom Seen Sleight

The Unfinished Fight of Seldom Seen Sleight

Film Session(s)

45 minutes, USA, 2019



Ken Sleight watched as his beloved Glen Canyon, a magical labyrinth of twisting red rock cut by a languid stretch of the Colorado River, slowly drowned beneath the waters of Lake Powell. That loss changed him from an old-school conservative into a radical environmental activist who will do anything to protect the canyons of the Southwest. He's faced down raging bulldozers from the back of his horse. Has he monkey wrenched? He'll never tell - but he was the inspiration for Seldom Seen Smith in his buddy Ed Abbey’s classic book THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG. Now 90, he's still fighting for Glen Canyon Dam to be removed allowing the Colorado River to run free and Glen Canyon to be restored. The challenges of climate change are making this a real possibility.

The Unfinished Fight of Seldom Seen Sleight, by Chris Simon and Susette Weisheit, combines a portrait of Ken Sleight with the issues facing the Colorado River as climate change heats the Colorado Plateau. Ken inspired and mentored many younger environmentalists including John Weisheit, Colorado River Keeper and director of Living Rivers. Weisheit argues for a “One Dam Solution,” which would decommission Glen Canyon Dam, sending the water down to Lake Mead. The river would run free, Glen Canyon would be restored, the natural ecosystem of the Grand Canyon would be renewed, and Ken Sleight’s long fight would be won.

Scenes of Ken Sleight’s life, past and present, combine with lyrical landscapes of the canyon country brought alive by the music of Kate MacLeod and Hal Cannon. It features never before seen footage of Glen Canyon by filmmaker Bill Adams.
The film also features activist Tim DeChristopher, and others influenced by Sleight.
NPR commentator Hal Cannon narrates the film.


Director(s): Chris Simon

Producer(s): Susette Weisheit