The Sundance hit "FLOW: For Love of Water" is taking the country by storm and waking people up to our water crisis.
Can anyone really own water? That was the questions that got French filmmaker Irena Salina inspired to take on a mammoth project -- chronicling the global water crisis and solutions -- from privatization to politics to pollution.
Her creation, the award-winning film "FLOW: For Love of Water," was a Sundance hit and now is making its theatrical debut in theaters across the country. Her film includes interviews with some of the world's leading activists, scientists and policy makers. But it also looks at how everyday people are affected around the world -- from the United States to South Africa to India and the growing network of grassroots activists that are coming together.
While the film is alarming, it is also empowering.
As a review in the New York Times said, "Irena Salina's astonishingly wide-ranging film is less depressing than galvanizing, an informed and heartfelt examination of the tug of war between public health and private interests. From the dubious quality of our tap water (possibly laced with rocket fuel) to the terrifyingly unpoliced contents of bottled brands (one company pumped from the vicinity of a Superfund site), the movie ruthlessly dismantles our assumptions about water safety and government oversight."
What I also love about this film is its unabashed attack on the privatization of water. You get a look at who the corporate players really are and what they have to say for themselves.
In an interview with AlterNet, Salina told us about what inspired her to take on this project and the blessing that it has become.
Tara Lohan: What made you want to do this film?
Irena Salina: There were a few things. Five years ago I watched Robert Kennedy Jr. talking about certain American industries, which were routinely polluting our rivers and waterways, and I was shocked to hear that some of these free-flowing contaminants often end up in the human body. This is what initially drew me to pay close attention to any news related to water.
But it was not until I saw an article in the Nation titled "Who Owns Water" written by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke that asked the question, "Is water going to be the oil of the 21st century?" And this really what got me going. Also, I must mention that having my first child made me look at the environment with a different eye!
TL: Your film covered a whole range of threats facing the future of our water, including privatization and pollution and scarcity. What should we be most concerned with?
IS: I think people in this country should be very concerned about certain chemicals and herbicides that are not being regulated properly by the EPA because of special interests. For instance, there was an article that recently came out in the Washington Post about the contaminant perchlorate, which comes from rocket fuel, and how the EPA is not taking action to get it out of drinking water. Here's an excerpt from that:
The Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from the White House and the Pentagon, is poised to rule as early as today that it will not set a drinking-water safety standard for perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel that has been linked to thyroid problems in pregnant women, newborns and young children across the nation.
TL: So if there are contimants like perchlorate in our water, how do we know what is safe to drink? The film also exposes the fallacy of drinking bottled water. So what are our options?
IS: The first thing I would tell people to do is to visit Food and Water Watch. They have a very articulate Web site about the safety of tap water and the problems with bottled water.
TL: How do I find out whether my tap water is safe?
In order to read the complete article HERE.