Sunday, July 5, 2020

“Dark Waters” Disturbs Our Faith in Corporations

Dark Waters

This legal drama will have you thinking twice about the pans you cook with, the carpet your baby crawls on, and the water you drink. A departure from the typical Todd Haynes indie film (Wonderstruck, Carol, and I’m Not There), Dark Waters is a slow roll build-up to the most recent civil action lawsuit against corporate chemical giant, Dupont.

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Dark Waters

Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) is a Cincinnati lawyer with roots in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Not long after making partner at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister law firm, Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) a farmer from Bilott’s hometown, approaches him about suing Dupont for poisoning his herd of cattle. Although he normally defends chemical corporations, Tennant’s declaration that Bilott’s grandmother referred his name motivates him to explore the claim further. And what he uncovers is both astonishing and deeply disturbing.

Dark waters

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This fact-based, no-frills drama isn’t as flashy as Erin Brockovich, but Ruffalo’s portrayal of underdog Bilott captures the steadfast and morally-driven motivations required to fight negligent corporations with deep pockets. Supported by wife and former lawyer, Sarah Bilott (Anne Hathaway), Ruffalo’s lengthy journey reveals the hardships placed on his family and the even greater suffering of an entire community who were lied to by the hand that fed them — Dupont.

Dark Waters

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With a rollercoaster ride of grotesque atrocities, vindications, and continuous setbacks, this environmental drama will leave its audience questioning the government’s ability to protect the public from greedy, big corporations. Without Bilott’s diligence, we would never have discovered the life-threatening effects of PFOA and Teflon. Dark Waters shines a light on the power of corporate money, their ability to rig the system, and the failings of our government agencies through their use of the “grandfather” clause. It’s an excellent representation of how cinema can enlighten and embolden its audience to action.

Movie times: click here

Director: Todd Haynes

Actors: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Bill Pullman, and Mare Winningham

Genre: Docudrama, History, Biography, Drama

Runtime: 126 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for thematic content, some disturbing images, and strong language

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Andrea Kade
Andrea Kade
Coastal waters have always been home to Andrea, who grew up in Texas and resided in beach communities along the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, and Pacific. Always the explorer, Andrea enjoys California camping and stumbling across small towns in her travels with her spouse and three children who attend Village Elementary. Sometimes you can glimpse her admiring the architecture and distinctive plant life that makes Coronado extraordinary.She received her BA in English from Old Dominion University and her MA in English from San Diego State University where she taught for two years. In those rare moments of solitude, Andrea indulges in southern novels, far too much coffee, and biking off the beaten path. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to:


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