Archives for posts with tag: documentary

AIRS THIS THURSDAY, JAN 12

We’re fat. Really fat. Almost 60% of Canadians are now either overweight or obese, and that figure is expected to climb even higher. But what if we have an excuse?

In Programmed to be Fat?, we explore controversial new science that suggests being overweight is not just the result of too much food, too little exercise, and genetics.  Exposure to environmental chemicals such as Bisphenol A, pesticides and herbicides during fetal development may be changing our physiology forever. That, say some scientists, could explain the alarming statistics on obesity – like the fact that the number of overweight infants rose 74% in just twenty years.  Scientists are now moving beyond their mice and rat studies, to test the theory in people.  In Programmed to Be Fat?, we will get the skinny on the science of fat.

Premiering January 12, 2012 on CBC TV’s “The Nature of Things” with David Suzuki.

Directed by Bruce Mohun, written by Bruce Mohun and Helen Slinger, produced by Sue Ridout, Helen Slinger and Sara Darling.

Preview below:

From VBS TV:

Last winter we decided VBS had to do a story on the Oil Sands of Alberta. So far no American media outlet had comprehensively covered it and even the local press’s approach has left a lot to be desired. No one seemed to even know what it was. It’s strange that as we hit peak oil and the global oil reserves go on the decline, we have heard next to nothing about the fact that Canada, due to improved oil extraction technology and record oil prices, is poised to become a major player in the geopolitical market place. The big question going in is what does this sudden access to previously unobtainable oil mean? Is this our get out of jail free card for the present energy crisis or is it another pipe dream being hyped up by the very corporations and lobbyists who stand to gain the most from it? Traveling through the haze of Ft. McMurray did nothing but fortify our stance on fossil fuel. It’s dirty, expensive, and–most importantly–nonrenewable. Al Gore recently likened the oil sands to a drug pusher, satisfying our jones for quick and cheap energy. Say what you will about pushers (at least they’re not kicking out greenhouse gasses to the tune of 80 million kilograms a day), but we think he’s got us and our jones pretty much square on the head.

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The Bhopal disaster or Bhopal gas tragedy was an industrial disaster that took place at a Union Carbide subsidiary pesticide plant in the city of Bhopal, India. On 3 December 1984, the plant released 42 tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, exposing more than 500,000 people to toxic gases. The first official imm…ediate death toll was 2,259. A more probable figure is that 8,000 died within two weeks, and it is estimated that an additional 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases.

From :

Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.

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Synopsis from Culture Unplugged:

During the last 100 years, the world has experienced an enormous growth, unequaled in the entire history of mankind. Production has increased more than 13 times, and this enormous step is linked to our capacity of exploiting the fossil fuels – coal and oil. In early industrialization, smoky chimneys, swinging cranes and burning melting furnace were potent symbols of power, optimism and money. But progress had its price. During the 20th century, millions of people die of lung cancer, heart and respiratory diseases – only due to the air pollution in the big cities all over the world.

Excerpt from 2008 Sundance Awarding Winning Documentary FUEL.

Check out the documentary about the uphill battle of the Ramapough Indian Tribe to secure a healthy future for their children. Premieres on Monday, July 18th at 9pm (tonight).

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From Greenpeace:

A new movie has dealt yet another severe blow to the credibility of US based Monsanto, one of the biggest chemical companies in the world and the provider of the seed technology for 90 percent of the world’s genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The French documentary, called “The world according to Monsanto” and directed by independent filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin, paints a grim picture of a company with a long track record of environmental crimes and health scandals.

The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market.

Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

More . . .

From desmogblog.com:

In the United States and beyond, governments are praising the “clean, plentiful fuel” that is natural gas, and tout it as a viable alternative to oil and coal.  According to Abrahm Lustgarten at ProPublica, its advocates are calling natural gas a step toward a greener energy future due to the fact, they assert, that natural gas produces 50 percent less greenhouse gases than coal.

Josh Fox’s critically-acclaimed documentary Gasland tells quite a different story about the natural gas industry and its extraction process, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  As he journeys across the United States, he discovers the devastating environmental and health impacts of humans and animals in close proximity to gas wells, and realizes that the so-called “Saudi Arabia of natural gas” is causing more pain than it is worth.

After the release of Fox’s documentary, an oil and gas lobby group calling itself “Energy In-Depth” launched a public relations offensive against the film (apparently they didn’t like the footage of people lighting their tap water on fire).  As it turns out, the website of the lobby group was registered to a Washington, DC public relations firm called FD Americas Public Affairs (formerly FD Dittus Communications) whose clients included oil and gas lobby groups including the American Energy Alliance, run by former Republican staffers Eric Creighton, Kevin Kennedy and Laura Henderson.

More. . . .

Read more about hydraulic fracturing on Upstream Blog:

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Unnatural Causes – Episode 1

UNNATURAL CAUSES criss-crosses the country investigating the stories and findings that are shaking up conventional notions about what makes us healthy or sick. It turns out there’s much more to our well-being than genes, behaviors and medical care. The social, economic, and physical environments in which we are born, live and work profoundly affect our longevity and health – as much as smoking, diet and exercise.

The series sheds light on mounting evidence of how lack of access to power and resources can get under the skin and disrupt human biology as surely as germs and viruses. It also reveals a health gradient tied to wealth: those at the top of the class pyramid average longer, healthier lives, while those at the bottom are the most disempowered, get sicker more often and die sooner. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

What’s more, at every level, many communities of color are worse off than their white counterparts. Researchers believe that chronic stress over the life course may create an additional health burden for people of color.

From Documentary Website:

“Home, sweet home.” Most people would say that they feel safest in the comfort of their own homes. The skies could open up and pour down acid rain, the smelters might be spewing clouds of ash and dust, a thick layer of vehicular emissions might blanket the cities, but we remain healthy and happy in our sheltered environments.

But, surprise, surprise. UP CLOSE AND TOXIC reveals that the great indoors is not as safe as we’ve been lulled into thinking. Toxicologists have found that the levels of most indoor air pollutants exceed those found outdoors – even in our most polluted cities. We know very little about the long term or cumulative effects of our indoor exposure. Cleaning products, pesticides, paint dust, lead particles in the carpet, plastic toys…UP CLOSE AND TOXIC provides an informative wake-up call in an entertaining manner, makes the sources of indoor pollution easy to understand, and provides tips for safer practices, materials, and cleaning agents.

From Documentary Website:

ON COAL RIVER takes viewers on a gripping emotional journey into the Coal River Valley of West Virginia — a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. The film follows a former coal miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it.

Ed Wiley is a former coal miner who once worked at a toxic waste facility that now threatens his granddaughter’s elementary school.  When his local government refuses to act, Ed embarks on a quest to have the school relocated to safer ground.  With insider knowledge and a sharp sense of right and wrong, Ed confronts his local school board, state government, and a notorious coal company — Massey Energy — for putting his granddaughter and his community at risk.

From FRESHthemovie:

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthurs 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollans book, the Omnivore Dilemna; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.

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Unnatural Causes

Mary Turner . . . lives in a poor neighborhood of Louisville, KY. With three teenage children, a husband on disability, and health complications that prevent her from working, Mary must budget carefully to keep her family fed and housed. In this video, she discusses the choices she faces every day, quickly but eloquently presenting a glimpse of one woman’s life at the lower end of the U.S. socio-economic spectrum. From the UNNATURAL CAUSES series: Episode 1 – “In Sickness and In Wealth.”

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