When he’s not acting, Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame, Spotlight) is an activist and environmentalist. But now all three of those interests are colliding in Dark Waters, a new film from Carol director Todd Haynes that’s based on a true story. Ruffalo plays a lawyer who discovers that American company DuPont was responsible for dumping chemicals into the water near its factories, wreaking havoc on not only the livestock, but the human residents in the area. Check out the trailer below.
Dark Waters Trailer
Anyone who follows Ruffalo on social media knows he’s spent years using his platform to help shed light on things like climate change, so it’s not surprising that he’d want to be a part of a film that can open audiences’ eyes to some of the horrible things that have happened at the hands of careless corporations in this country.
I encourage you to read this Salon article to get the full story of the scope of this scandal, but here’s the gist. DuPont produced a non-biodegradable chemical called C8, which they discovered was linked to a variety of diseases, including cancer. After conducting research and realizing it was dangerous, they knowingly continued to produce it, dump it into the ocean, and bury it in toxic waste drums near the Ohio River. Here’s what happened next:
In 1984, DuPont began to secretively collect local tap water, asking employees to bring in jugs of water from their own homes, schools, and local businesses, and discovered that C8 was making its way into public drinking water supplies in both Ohio and West Virginia at potentially dangerous levels. Minutes recorded at a meeting at DuPont’s corporate headquarters in Delaware that year suggest a high level of concern regarding how this could affect the company’s image and bottom line. “Legal and medical will likely take the position of total elimination,” notes from the meeting read. The company executives present, however, concluded the available methods for cutting pollution were not “economically attractive.”
Despicably, DuPont increased production of the chemical after that. Here’s hoping the film sheds more light on these atrocious acts and maybe moves us a little closer to something like this never happening again.
Interesting side note: this isn’t the first DuPont-related movie in which Ruffalo has appeared. In 2014, he played a supporting role in Foxcatcher, a wrestling film about the heir to the company’s fortune who oversaw a training facility for Olympic wrestlers and eventually murdered one of them.
Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, Bill Camp, William Jackson Harper, and Bill Pullman co-star in Dark Waters. Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Inspired by a shocking true story, a tenacious attorney (Ruffalo) uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world’s largest corporations. In the process, he risks everything – his future, his family, and his own life – to expose the truth.
Dark Waters comes to limited theaters on November 22, 2019 and then expands to a wider release on November 29, 2019.
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