Water is the source of life on Earth. Its scarcity and pollution are among the fundamental causes of the environmental crisis on the planet. Many films have been made about water, the water wars and human health, and today we will briefly discuss some of them. Water feature films are one of the tools that can help focus public attention on water issues. And it must be said that the tool is an interesting one. So if you have nothing to watch on a cold winter evening, this selection is for you.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
This is an autobiographical film that tells the story of human rights activist Erin Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts and won Best Actress at the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes.
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The story behind the film took place in 1993. Проблема жителей города Хинкли (Hinkley) в штате Калифорния заключалась в загрязнении грунтовых вод канцерогенным шестивалентным хромом. Chromium solutions were used by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company Corporation to protect the water cooling system, and the effluent was discharged into uninsulated ponds (besides this company, though, the region is quite problematic to this day).
Although the ponds were isolated in 1966, in 1987 a routine water test found hexavalent chromium in the water. This is where the story behind the film began. Erin Brockovich, a twice-divorced mother of three, begins her own investigation, which results in large compensations for town residents with cancer. It was actually less fabulous and there were a lot of lawyers working on the case, but the main point of the picture is about the effects of environmental influences on the water.
“Promised Land” (2012)
This dramatic film tells the story, based on the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers, of how energy company agent Steve Buttler (Matt Damon) and his partner travel to a small American town to negotiate a land buyout with its residents for fracking gas drilling. This method has certain side effects in the form of possible groundwater contamination. The town’s residents are initially hesitant. Then a visiting eco-activist shows up in town to lead a protest against the gas producer. In the end, it turns out that the environmental movement is playing on the side of the gas miners. At the end of the film, Steve Buttler tells the locals the truth and receives news of his dismissal.
This film about water has received harsh criticism from U.S. energy officials, due to the fact that the effects of gas extraction are not that great.
There was even a rebuttal film that assessed the risks of fracking gas extraction, and in Pennsylvania, the Marcellus Shale Coalition energy company bought the first 16 seconds before the film in 75% of theaters, where it was announced that this mining method was safe.
“Civil Action” (1998)
This film is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Harr. It tells the story of water pollution from tannery sewage and the fate of attorney Jan Schlichtmann (John Travolta), who took the case on behalf of the small-town families. At some point he thought the trial would be a losing one, but took it as a matter of honor. Ultimately, the lawsuits are lost. A lawyer left alone in a small apartment with a small law practice. Some time later, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, based on material gathered by Ian and his colleagues, filed its own lawsuit against the food company and won. The company pays a huge settlement to restore the soil and water, and the lawyer manages all the debts and teaches environmental law in New Jersey.
The story tells the story of California’s water crisis, water corruption and personal drama: Jack Nicholson, a private investigator who was hired by the alleged wife of the Los Angeles water superintendent. Beginning with adultery, a detective comes up with “an elaborate scheme to issue bonds and build a dam to steal water from Los Angeles during a drought.”.
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The film combines a complex storyline, a good cast, which is typical of Roman Polanski’s films.
This is a British comedy film with elements of political satire, starring Michael Caine. The story tells of a small island, a British colony that has been forgotten in the ocean. But after the accidental appearance of a spring with special mineral water, the island became unusually popular: it was recalled by Britain and also began to show interest in the United States and Cuba. The film deals with all of these points in comedic form.