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‘Dark Waters,’ ‘Bombshell’ compelling exposés

December 25, 2019
By Tony Rutherford , Graffiti

Tragically, you have seen the essence of "Deep Water" in "Erin Brockovich," "Class Action," "North Country," and "A Civil Action," in which a large corporation gaslights residents for decades concerning the safety (actually lack thereof) of emissions (be they air or water). Likely "Deep Water" will not be the last either considering the festering Flint, Michigan crisis and the multiple state crisis related to radioactive emissions from former defense plants.

Telling the story of a Parkersburg, West Virginia farmer on a mission to learn why 190 of his cows have died, he finds no local attorney will explore the case as it likely leads to the community's largest employer, DuPont. A referral leads him to a lawyer with youthful Parkersburg roots, but his firm is on the wrong side --- they generally defend large companies from contamination suits.

Filmed in and around Cincinnati, filmmakers avoid stereotypes by structuring the plaintiffs as small town residents (i.e. two to three story buildings, two lane roads, decaying farms) versus spiraling skyscrapers of the Queen City.

Todd Haynes ("Poison," "Carol", "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story") cast Marvel movie favorite Mark Ruffalo as a tenacious attorney who spends decades of his life as a "David" trying to slay a Goliath corporation for sins committed for stockholders.

Here, a component from the Manhattan Project (C8) has been turned into Teflon but the hazards of the ingredient have been withheld due to a lapse in the EPA hazardous chemical listing which relied on manufacturers to tell the truth.

Anne Hathaway plays the attorney's long suffering wife pulled into a conspiracy that consumes her husband's life and negatively impacts his family.

Although "Dark Waters" has a "legal procedure" structure, Haynes spends minimum screen time in the courtroom. He focuses on the "system is rigged" against us --- government, agencies, and other so-called safety valves are not robustly on the consumer's side. You're on your own to find a network of individuals to "out" the injustices that come in life's journey.

Betty Jo Tucker, Reel Talk, wrote: "Dark Waters reveals how greed, corruption and indifference can devastate the environment, cause birth defects plus fatal diseases, and ruin people's lives. It's a very scary story. "

She doesn't stop there; part of her review is a poem reading in part:

Watch "Dark Waters," but be prepared

to get angry while being scared.

A true story, it tells the tale

of poisonings without a jail.

Stopping these deaths a lawyer tries.

His research reveals many lies

told by DuPont about their work.

Dangers in their chemicals lurk.

He takes on this case and the fight.

It's not easy to do what's right.

He and his wife face problems too.

If you were him, what would you do?

More reality highlights Christmas/January Releases:

BOMBSHELL

Academy Award winners and nominees Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow and Margo Robbie expose the Fox News culture which set off the "#MeToo " movement. Starring as Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, the women and their leggy light-haired warriors expose Roger Aisles sexual candy box.

Two films crusade against the inequities of capital punishment. These will likely not hit area cinemas until January.

CLEMANCY

Warden Bernadine Williams prepares to execute another inmate and must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

JUST MERCY

Shadowing world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson as he recounts his experiences and details the case of a condemned death row prisoner whom he fought to free.

OTHER UPCOMING FILMS: Apparition tells of a group of young people exploring a castle haunted by spirits; a re-make of The Grudge set in a house where a vengeful ghost dooms all who enter; Like a Boss, two women start a beauty company; Gentleman, a British drug lord tries to sell his empire to an Oklahoma billionaire; The Turning, Mackenzie Davis stars in a remake of "Turning of the Screw."

 
 

 

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