Monday, September 2, 2013

Documentaries to Support

The issue of chemicals in the environment is a depressing one, but the good news is that the truth that common chemicals are unregulated and harming us all is slowly being understood, and understanding may lead to change. Two documentaries may help the cause.

The award-winning documentary "Unacceptable Levels" debuted in May. Screenings have been held throughout the summer and will continue through the fall, with September showings in Washington DC and Nashville, and October showings in San Diego. The website offers information for those who would like a screening held in their area. News reports from May indicated that the film would be available through video-on-demand outlets in July, but I've been unable to verify that it's currently available for viewing anywhere other than in selected theaters. If anyone knows otherwise, I would appreciate the information.

Living Green Magazine posted a trailer from the documentary and also listed some statistics cited in the film. These include the facts that in the last twenty years, there has been a 300% increase in the amount of asthma and a 400% increase in the rates of allergies and ADHD. Autism currently affects one in every 50 children, and in children younger than 15, cancer is the second-leading cause of death, second only to accidents.

Another documentary addressing the chemical problem is entitled "The Human Experiment" and is produced and narrated by actor Sean Penn. The documentary is set to debut at a film festival in October and the hope is that Penn's involvement will ensure the film wider distribution than it might otherwise have. Trailers for the documentary can be viewed on pages associated with the Hollywood Reporter and Safer Chemical/Healthy Familieswhich also features an interview with one of the directors.

Although I obviously haven't seen either documentary, I'm assuming that they'll both do a good job of explaining the problem. We can help the films spread the word about chemical dangers by spreading the word about the films. Facebook users might consider "liking" their pages (here for "Unacceptable Levels" and here for "The Human Experiment.") They can also be followed on Twitter. Three cheers for the people willing to put work into producing and promoting the documentaries. I pray they both do well and that the message they are trying to communicate will be received and understood. 

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