Student Academy Award Winner
From Flint goes beyond the news headlines to spotlight the impact of the devastating water contamination crisis on the people of Flint, Michigan. The film highlights the stories of residents who were personally injured, along with the work of local organizations and individuals that rallied to support them.
Flint is a city of 100,000 people, with 41% living below the poverty line and an African-American majority. The city switched in 2014 to water from the polluted Flint River to save money, but the new water supply wasn't properly treated. Lead from aging lines leached into the local water supply, along with coliform bacteria and other contaminants, creating a serious health crisis. Up to 12,000 children may have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water. Some residents were also forced to abandon their homes without warning.
Residents describe their personal struggles, including the serious medical issues that afflicted them -- seizures, rashes, problems affecting newborns and young children -- as well as their anger over a government that continually failed to protect them. The citizens of Flint make their displeasure known through emotional testimonies to officials about the impact on children and families, as well as through large, peaceful protests. The film also highlights how residents and local organizations have come together to help and support one another through the crisis.
Ultimately, the Flint water crisis was a failure of government at every level, with important lessons for other cities and towns. From Flint concludes by noting the indictment of several officials responsible for the crisis and its mismanagement, though the impact of their actions irreversibly linger.
Reviews and Festivals"A stunning documentary..."
-Media Sandbox, Michigan State University
"Grassroots organizations and activists ignored by national news take center stage in From Flint: Voices of a Poisoned City."
"In this thought-provoking program, advocates and locals share their stories... Putting a face on the Flint water crisis, this moving program underscores the need for government and environment diligence."
"Illuminating and infuriating, From Flint delivers a heartfelt condemnation of how local officials allowed this situation to occur and still display an unwillingness to resolve it."
"This documentary is an outstanding accomplishment...From Flint is a remarkable collection of once-underrepresented voices that can now be heard by policymakers at all levels of government."
-The Grassroots Journal
"Highly Recommended. Filmmaker Elise Conklin's stinging documentary From Flint quickly reprises the situation before getting to its real purpose: meeting and hearing the story from ordinary people among Flint's population of 100,000... Watching this film is like going to a community meeting and encountering your flesh-and-blood neighbors instead of reading about faceless victims of an unconscionable scandal."
"Recommended. The film gives a good sense of the resolve that was required to take on local officials, and prevail. The viewer will also sense the emotions that residents experienced during the fight, and the feelings of betrayal and frustration they are left with now. The video presentation and editing are of high quality."
-Science Books and Films
"As this short film explains, Flint switched from Detroit's water
system - one of the cleanest in the world - to draw water from the Flint
River which was polluted with lead."
-Anthropology Review Database
"This heartfelt student film focuses on the tragic results of government ineptitude and cynicism."
-School Library Journal
Student Academy Award
Documentary, Bronze Medal
First Place, College Documentary
Flint Youth Film Festival
Award of Recognition, Impact DOCS Awards
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
Spartan Film Festival
East Lansing Film Festival
Chicago International Social Change Film Festival
Social Justice Film Festival
Chain Film Festival
Colorado Environmental Film Festival
New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
Detroit Free Press Film Festival
Yale Student Film Festival
Capital City Film Festival