I spoke with writer/director David Barnhart and editor Scott Lansing about their documentary concerning the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Flint: The Poisoning of An American City is an important and in-depth look at a dangerous collision of corporate greed, lazy politicians, and economic prejudice. While elected officials shrugged their shoulders, the citizens of Flint were left to essentially fend for themselves as their water was infected by lead. Is there light at the end of the tunnel for the victims of such mass pollution? Check out our interview to find out:
If you’re looking for ways to help those affected by this crisis, check out the film’s official website.
“Flint: The Poisoning of an American City” traces the timeline of the city’s interaction with the Flint River – from the continued abuse and neglect of both city infrastructure and environmental regulations, to subsequent population decline, through to Michigan’s 2013 appointing of outside emergency managers. This poisonous mix of factors created a crisis which has gone on for five years, resulting in record high levels of lead in the drinking water of the city. The film intersperses with area residents (including parents, social workers, educators, pastors, and experts on water and health) with testimony at congressional and other oversight committee hearings to demonstrate how 100,000 people have been poisoned by lead, an irreversible affliction. No timeline exists for the remediation of the situation. “Flint” explores the critical question of how this could happen in America and how this event should serve as a warning for the rest of the country. A recent report found that 5,300 American cities were found to be in violation of federal lead rules, and research published in USA Today detected excessive lead in nearly 2,000 public water systems across all 50 states. This documentary educates and inspires action, seeking to radically change how we view and value water.