Dark Waters – Budget Unknown – 2 hours and 6 minutes
In 1998, Robert ‘Robbie’ Bilott sits with the law firm’s partners talking about upcoming cases. His paralegal pulls him out of the meeting to meet with Wilbur Tennant. Wilbur is a farmer from West Virginia carrying a box filled with videotapes. He is furious because DuPont killed his cows and he wants Robbie to represent him. Robbie is dumbfounded by Wilbur’s request. Robbie is a corporate attorney for chemical companies. He tells Wilbur to call a local attorney and begins to walk away. Wilbur mentions his close ties to Robbie’s grandmother and catches Robbies attention. Robbie agrees to come down to his farm and check things out but makes no promises to represent him. After visiting his grandmother, Robbie heads to Wilbur’s farm. Wilbur has 2 cows on the land and dozens of mounds of dirt. Under each mound is a cow he buried. After the mounds took up too much of the property, he started cremating the cows. Wilbur has lost 190 cows. Next, Wilbur takes Robbie to the creek behind his home. Robbie doesn’t see anything wrong. Frustrated and furious, Wilbur points out that the rocks have turned white. That can only happen if they have been bleached for a long period of time. He knows something is in the water. Robbie still defends DuPont and Wilbur shows Robbie his most damning evidence. Swollen organs, rotting bones, and tumors all pulled from his animals. Robbie can’t ignore it anymore. When Robbie asks Dupont for its records for dumping chemical waste in the area, he finds a strange acronym in the documents: PFOA. After requesting Dupont for more information about these chemicals, he gets a semi-truck full of documents. Robbie is in the fight of his life for the lives of others. But will all this fighting be the death of him?
Based on the article The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare by Nathaniel Rich, you will leave the theater wanting to be tested for PFOA (a.k.a C-8). Hearing the number of products it’s used in and how long DuPont knew it was making its customer sick will disgust you. However, companies and the government continue these practices today. It’s mind-blowing that Tennant’s case lasted for 8 years and DuPont did everything to discredit Wilbur, Robbie, and anyone else that got in the way. DuPont even turned the town of Parkersburg on Wilbur by writing scathing reports about the family in the local paper. Many in the town couldn’t believe the biggest employer and biggest benefactor would ever harm them. But they did and the effects will be felt for decades to come. Another heart-wrenching moment is seeing the real people who were hurt in the film. They are your family, friends, teachers, neighbors, and children. You know them. What happened to them, and America, all for the sake of one company’s profits is shameful.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m already suing you – Robbie