Posted January 27, 2011 in
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Slamdance Film Festival
Dir: Van Maxmillian Carlson

Bhopal, India is home to one of the worst industrial accidents in the history of the world, the worst in the history of India, and one still happening to this day. After the original thousands of deaths occurred the death toll has mounted and isn’t stopping, this is where "Bhopali" picks up, condemning original polluters Union Carbide and subsequent liability owner Dow. This movie is good enough to warrant more screens than Slamdance and will move onward to them. This is the type of non-fiction work that all US residents/users of chemicals should see if they’re unaware, especially those in their teens and 20s who missed this chapter in US international-polluter history. "Bhopali" reveals a clear case of “Polluter Pays” where the polluter didn’t really. Union Carbide settled an almost half billion debt and walked away without really paying for cleaning up the deadly results of the cyanide-MIC-infused gas they released into the air and ground. Unsurprisingly, Dow refuses to acknowledge the issue with the filmmakers and Union Carbide has followed similar denials since its original bandaid payment to the Indian government. The documentary is well shot, nicely scored and impeccably constructed. This is one of the best advocacy docs I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen many. It ranks up there with “The Cove” and “If A Tree Falls” in my book. It also has a cast of well-versed experts on the subjects addressed. Noam Chomsky is featured amongst a score of Indian activities and the one lawyer still pursuing a class action lawsuit for the victims who would like a cleanup of the site leaking poison into their groundwater/drinking supply in Bhopal.