W. Va.-based "Dark Waters" a Legal David-and-Goliath

Updated 4 weeks ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
W. Va.-based "Dark Waters" a Legal David-and-Goliath

Tragically, you have seen the essence of "Dark Waters" in "Erin Brockovich", as well as "Class Action," "North Country," and "A Civil Action"  in which a large corporation gaslights residents for decades concerning the details of air and water quality. Likely "Dark Waters" 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 odyssey of a Parkersburg, W. Va. farmer 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  MCU 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 ("The Hustle," "Oceans 8")  plays his long-suffering wife pulled into a conspiracy that consumes their lives.

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. 

 

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