Gladesmen: The Last of the Sawgrass

/ / 2018, Feature Films, Putnam Theatre

2017 | USA | 86 minutes
Director: David Abel
Screenwriters: David Abel, Andy Laub
Cinematographer: Cassandra Keith
Editor: Andy Laub

Buoyed by stunning natural imagery, accessible science and a colorful cast of characters, this timely documentary explores the vibrant culture of Florida’s airboaters, the men and women who have navigated the Everglades for generations—and whose way of life is on the cusp of vanishing. With its dizzying diversity of flora and fauna, the Everglades constitute Florida’s most emblematic terrain, supplying much of our drinking water and attracting visitors from all over the world. The increasingly precarious state of the Everglades’ ecosystem has prompted the world’s largest environmental restoration project—an initiative that seeks to ban the use of private airboats. While restorationists clearly articulate the urgency of curbing the impact of airboats, members of the Airboat Association of Florida claim the ban is hypocritical. provides a platform for advocates on both sides of this contentious issue.