Why I'm Watching Dark Waters This Week
Please go see Dark Waters, the riveting and important story of attorney Rob Bilott, soon. It's playing now around the country. And please do share the message to see the film with your friends and colleagues.
The film's social action team seeks to increase the film's impact and hope it will be a catalyst for reducing the use of PFAS (highly fluorinated toxic chemicals). Seeing it this week will help the film be screened more widely. Read on for a thoughtful message from Todd Haynes, the director.
Arlene and the Green Science Policy Team
by director Todd Haynes
I am very proud to be able to share with you my new film, Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Camp. The film is based on the remarkable true story, first broken in a New York Times expose, about a Cincinnati-based lawyer named Rob Bilott who unwittingly discovers, and spends years exposing, the shocking truth behind DuPont and the chemicals used to produce Teflon. It is a kind of filmthe whistleblower storythat I've never tackled before as a director, but which I’ve always had a deep fascination for, particularly in films like All the Presidents Men, Silkwood and The Insider. These are all stories about the disclosure of corruption, but in the most compelling cases they are stories about the tremendous human cost and stigma attached to truth telling, and the devastating challenges individuals go through standing up to systems of power. What Rob uncovers will shock you, but the human story that links him to the victims of this contamination is a powerfully moving one. We also feel it is a film of incredible relevance as we all confront the urgent environmental challenges of our times.
In Dark Waters, what begins as a regional and national contamination of air and water systems results in a global contamination of human bloodstreamsin effect, materializing our interconnectivity as residents of the planet, if not the unelected victims of capitalist and ideological systems. But in the massiveness of this manmade catastrophe, we are invariably linked. Our knowledge and awareness is what connects us to one another, like Rob Bilott to the people he has fought to defend, in what is both an unending struggle for justice and a fight for our lives.
I hope you connect to the film as I have to the people behind the story and the remarkable creative team assembled to make it.