In 1998, Rob Bilott was a young lawyer on the rise in a Cincinnati Law Firm specializing in facilitating chemical corporations take on environmental regulations. Shortly after becoming a partner in the law firm and being able to sit at the “Big Boys” table, a farmer from West Virginia visited him named Earl Tennant. Earl knew Bilott’s grandmother who still resided in West Virginia and Rob used to play at the Tennant’s farm as a child and held wonderful memories of milking the Tennant’s cows. Earl informed Rob that DuPont, a local company, is causing gruesome abnormalities in his livestock and changes in the animal’s behavior.
An inner battle took place within Bilott as he tried to come to terms with what he must undertake. If he takes on the case, he could jeopardize his future as a corporate lawyer. If he doesn’t take it, the people in the small West Virginia town will continue to be poisoned.
The film “Dark Waters” dives into the turmoil Rob goes through professionally, the personal strain the case plays on his family, and the small community he’s trying to save in the shadow of big business. The movie is part thriller, part family drama, and a call to action in a time when corporate greed has taken precedence over the lives of people who work for businesses and live near them.
Dark Waters stars Mark Rufallo as Rob Bilott, Anne Hathaway as his wife Sarah, Tim Robbins as his boss Tom Terp, and also includes Bill Camp, Mare Winningham, and Bill Pullman and is Directed by Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven, Wonderstruck).
Is Dark Waters Appropriate for Kids?
Yes. I believe it’s not only appropriate, but important for kids to see the film. There are moments that might be intense for younger and sensitive children, such as animals acting aggressive and abnormalities seen on animals that are gross. Characters get sick and die because of the chemicals DuPont let flow into the water system and that could cause a further conversation about life, death, and the responsibility we have for our fellow neighbor locally and globally.
There’s also some swearing in the movie, but is appropriate for the characters and situations.
See the movie and read Rob Bilott’s book Exposure. And then discuss with your children the impact of our footprints and what we leave behind, and the work we must all do to build a better future. Visit FightForeverChemicals.com and learn ways to help.