Student Academy Award WinnerFrom Flint
goes beyond the news headlines to spotlight the impact of the devastating water contamination crisis on the people of Flint, Michigan. The film highlights the stories of residents who were personally injured, along with the work of local organizations and individuals that rallied to support them.
Flint is a city of 100,000 people, with 41% living below the poverty line and an African-American majority. The city switched in 2014 to water from the polluted Flint River to save money, but the new water supply wasn't properly treated. Lead from aging lines leached into the local water supply, along with coliform bacteria and other contaminants, creating a serious health crisis. Up to 12,000 children may have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water. Some residents were also forced to abandon their homes without warning.
Residents describe their personal struggles, including the serious medical issues that afflicted them — seizures, rashes, problems affecting newborns and young children — as well as their anger over a government that continually failed to protect them. The citizens of Flint make their displeasure known through emotional testimonies to officials about the impact on children and families, as well as through large, peaceful protests. The film also highlights how residents and local organizations have come together to help and support one another through the crisis.
Ultimately, the Flint water crisis was a failure of government at every level, with important lessons for other cities and towns. From Flint concludes by noting the indictment of several officials responsible for the crisis and its mismanagement, though the impact of their actions irreversibly linger.
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