ANN ARBOR - The 2018 Cinetopia Film Festival runs May 31 through June 10 and will feature an impressive lineup of films, ranging from critical darlings that had their premieres at Sundance, Toronto, SXSW and more, to films that focus on more local issues with national implications.
One of the locally-focused films is "Thirst For Justice," a documentary from Leana Hosea, a University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability fellow that examines the contaminated water crisis facing America. A rough cut of the film will screen on June 8 at 4 p.m. at the Michigan Theater in celebration of the 18th annual Mayor’s Green Fair. Immediately following the film there will be a panel discussion and a message from the mayor to encourage people to go to the Green Fair.
The synopsis for "Thirst For Justice" is as follows:
In the Spring of 2015, residents in Flint, Michigan and Sanders, Arizona proved, despite official denial, that their water was dangerously contaminated. Now, Janene from the Navajo, African-American Flint activist Nayyirah, and blue-collar stay-at-home mom Christina are leading the fight for clean water. When they meet in Standing Rock at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, it sparks a realization that not only are the stakes nationwide, but the very future of democracy is threatened.
The stories behind this documentary have affected Hosea in a big way. "I’ve covered a lot of incredible stories. The Arab Spring from day one in Tahrir Square, the war in Gaza, crisis in Yemen and terror attack in Brussels. But I have never seen anything like what I found when I visited the Navajo Nation," Hosea said.
"I found communities living amid piles of radioactive waste, drinking uranium-contaminated water. This story has touched me like no other. Then in one of the most water rich places in the world, the town of Flint has been poisoned by the water. Just like on the Navajo reservation the authorities knew and did not act to protect people. I felt compelled to tie these stories together to reveal the corporate hijacking of our water, facilitated by the creation of corporate governments. This is why protecting clean water as a commons is simultaneously a defense of democracy," Hosea said.
The rough cut of "Thirst For Justice" is presented in support of the Mayor’s Green Fair and sponsored by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability and Michigan Sustainability Cases.
Stay tuned for more updates from the Cinetopia Film Festival each week from All About Ann Arbor. To learn more about the festival itself, visit cinetopiafestival.org. You can also "Like" Cinetopia on Facebook and follow them on Twitter while also making sure to use #Cinetopia2018.
Planning to attend the festival? Tickets to individual films are now available and the full lineup of films can be found at cinetopiafestival.org/schedule.
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