Documentary Film Premiere of Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal

There was a time, when unregulated industry went unchecked and was sadly unaccountable in the US. In cities like Buffalo and Niagara Falls, that means that just about anything could be dumped just about anywhere, as long as the local economy was strong and people were employed. Unfortunately, that mean that the environment would pay the cost, as would the residents that lived in the neighborhoods in and around the chemical dump sites. Not until the sites were overly polluted and residents began to get sick did people begin to fight back. The problem was that there were no guide books to follow. No one had ever stood up to big industry before.

In the case of Love Canal, a group of mostly women – including powerful advocate Lois Gibbs and biologist and cancer researcher Beverly Paigen – stepped up to fight on behalf of the residents. It all started when family members learned that their homes, schools, and playgrounds had been built upon a toxic dump site that was treacherously leaching and causing widespread illnesses. The toxic waste studies that ensued eventually led to residents being resettled. These same studies helped to garner advocacy for what would ultimately become the landmark Superfund Bill.

On Wednesday, April 10, from 6 to 7:30 pm, Buffalo Toronto Public Media will host a free 40-minute preview of a new documentary film titled Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal during a special screening event.

The film, from PBS’s American Experience, recounts a battle for the ages, between ordinary women (David) and Hooker Electrochemical Company (Goliath) that would serve as a blueprint for other activists to follow in years to come.

The free event includes a live panel discussion featuring American Experience executive producer Cameo George and the film’s director Jamila Ephron. Free parking is available in the BTPM parking lot. Registration is required and more information can be found by clicking here.

Watch the full film on Monday, April 22, at 9 pm on WNED PBS.

The post Documentary Film Premiere of Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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