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Dirty Laundry

Starting at $89

A Film by Conor B. Lewis

74 minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 9 - Adult
Item #:DRL-1155

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DVD
K-12 Schools, Public Libraries, Community Groups - $89
Colleges, Businesses, Other Institutions - $295
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $395
How did a 90-year-old grandmother and housewife die from a rare form of cancer whose only cause is exposure to asbestos? Answer: asbestos dust on the clothes of her husband, who worked at Shell Oil's Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois. Fueled by curiosity over their grandmother's surprising death, two cousins embark on a 4200 mile bicycle tour across the United States in search of answers. Through interviews and research, they uncover a trail of corporate disinterest and broken families, bound together by a common thread -- asbestos exposure and the death sentence of mesothelioma.

Wishing they could have asked their grandma more about her life and illness, Conor and Zack's story starts with that very scenario. In an ethereal white room, furnished with a lone chair and a vintage television set, the cousins take turns engaging in a conversation with their Grandmother Iva. Armed with what they've learned from both her and initial interviews with family members, the cousins begin their journey of discovery.

From coast to coast, the cousins interview surviving family members, doctors, activists, and community members who are still living with actively toxic asbestos sites. The film reveals the stark reality of corporate dissembling and the apparent disregard for both the lives lost and the lives still being placed at risk from the continued manufacture and use of asbestos, the creation of open asbestos waste sites, and the reckless excavation of contaminated ground.

FILMMAKERS' STATEMENT: "As director of the film, I feel uniquely qualified to tell this story. It is a film born out of family: it was funded by family, produced by family, starring family - my family. I offer a fresh perspective I hope will energize, as well as educate, a younger generation of change makers. The diseases caused by asbestos are particularly brutal and there is no known cure. Even more troubling, for decades corporations knowingly exposed their work forces, while publicly denying the health risks, and some of this continues today.

My hope: If viewing this film will cause people to think twice about asbestos, we can save lives. I wanted to create a film that would make do-it-yourself home renovators aware of the potential risks BEFORE taking out that wall, or touching that insulation."
-Conor B. Lewis

Preview link available upon request. Contact support@videoproject for more information
Dirty Laundry

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