Here's to Flint

Here's to Flint

2016, Health  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 8.96/10 from 128 users.

The water crisis that is currently gripping residents of Flint, Michigan is one of the most tragic predicaments of recent times. It is all the more tragic for being entirely preventable. The hot-off-the-press documentary Here's to Flint explores the events which lead to this catastrophy, and offers an urgent and rousing portrait of ordinary citizens who are fearless in standing up to power.

It all began as a cost-cutting measure enacted by the city's emergency management department. By switching the city's water supply from the bountiful Lake Huron and Detroit River to the highly polluted Flint River, officials set in motion a series of calamatous health hazards to which much of the public was largely unaware. When residents did complain about the quality of the dirty water, their protests fell on deaf ears. That all changed when mysterious illnesses began to grip the people of Flint, much of them children, in the form of rashes, hair loss, nervous system disorders and cancer. Flint's water contained alarmingly elevated levels of lead, a chemical that poses disastrous health implications when consumed in even the smallest quantities.

The film rightfully sheds a harsh light on the cuplrits behind this crisis - the officials who placed the lives of their poverty-stricken, largely African American community members at risk in an attempt to save five million dollars - and places us inside the public hearings where these enraged citizens demand meaningful corrective action. Their future, and the lives of their children, depend on it.

Produced with great insight and humanity by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Here's to Flint is a profoundly sad statement on a government which is blinded by greed to the plight of its people. The water crisis in Flint has become a hot button political issue this campaign season, and the ultimate outcome may not be determined for some time. After all, contaminated water supplies are rampant throughout many parts of the United States. For those communities, the story of Flint should serve as both a precautionary tale, and an inspiring blueprint for how to take back our power from ruthless and apathetic leaders.

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Britney Turner

    The water is very dangerous. I say that because you don't know what's in the water or could it make you sick. No one wants to drink any kind of water that's not clear lol. They were forced to drink the flint water after Detroit rejected their contract. People are getting getting sick and their hair is falling out.

  2. Justin

    In my humble opinion, which is shared by many Flint residents in the know, is that $$$ is the root of this crime againsts American citizens. 1. Get government $ to switch water because Flint was in crisis and had an interim leaders. 2. Make people live without water & they will move. (Flint is predominatly African American/Elderly/Poor) 3. Get $100 Million in federal aid to remedy situation after 3 years of poisoning residents and misappropriate those funds as well. Criminal Government Officials traded $ for human lives.

  3. Ceci

    Flint had been sourcing its water from Detroit. The politicians decided to save money by changing the source and using a defunct water treatment system and to skip the protocols. They didn't have to switch the source, especially if they weren't going to do it correctly themselves.

  4. bob

    It would seem the governor was making a play to force the residents of flint to abandon their homes by poisoning them out. The plan backfired.

  5. rob

    seems to me humans reproduce too much, pollute nature, then face consequences. it hits the financial poor the most, which is sad, but these also be the people who are reproducing most excessively. not sure what to do about it guessing more education wouldn't hurt.

    1. Roger Andout

      Things havent in the last 3 years, except 4 even more humans.

  6. eddy

    Sad thing is, the powers that be dont see that its the people of Flint paying for anything. Suffering, yes, but as an economy and a population, its like a brain-dead body, being kept alive by life support, with a ZERO % chance of ever regaining its position as a viable community. Its greed and lack of foresight that stem from a poorly managed auto industry, with sales that couldnt support its labor costs and the ever-growing pension beneficiaries. When these companies could see no option but to leave, the population was basically unprepared to face a harsh reality...take responsibility and relocate, or become completely dependent on government. Its a very frightening reality, especially for Americans that have an entitlement to at the very least, food, water, healthcare, education, homes, electricity, sewers, law enforcement, emergency workers, firefighters and...a government of officials to make it all run without a problem. Well, when the majority of the population is receiving welfare instead of paying becomes a problem. Budgets are strained. Emergency is the name of the game. Cuts must be made, but dont tell that to a community entitled to a certain lifestyle. All of a sudden its the fault of whoever has the job of living in reality and balancing the budget. Its sad to see a single mother of 4 with no education and no job that is feeling her future is at risk because her water might effect her ability to become a productive citizen.. And then its time for the lawyers to come make a killing - and the community organizations to spring to life, with a new found energy to drum up anger, with slogans of racism and corruption. Its a scary thought, but more and more American cities will be finding themselves in the same situation, unless industry returns ...there will be no recovery.

  7. Wayne

    It sounds to me like there could be long list of people who could and should be the subject of a variety of legal prosecutions. And the sooner the prosecutions happen, the sooner legal limits would be exceeded.

  8. winter andresen

    this is what happens when you have a republican for governor. The people that made up the working class could not be bothered to vote. Therefore a whole lot of 70 year old white couples voted in the party of war, as they always do, and the common man suffers the consequences.

    You people under 50 need to get out and vote! You can not stem the business of corruption now but if you keep it up over enough election cycles you can derail the republican process that is turning your neighbor hood into a third world country. They already sent your jobs to Japan and busted your unions. What more do you want?

  9. brett

    What is the name of the person who was responsible for testing the Flint water before the switch was made ? NAME PLEASE .......

  10. Kim

    It is situations such as this that are going to culminate in a modern revolution. The corruption, greed, and lack of accountability within local, state, and federal governments is rampant and US citizens are sick and tired of being the ones who pay the price and suffer the consequences of decisions that are made in government that are self-serving and not in the public's best interests. When a local government, with the approval of the state's Governor, is allowed to implement a decision to save money at the risk of its citizen's health, something is dreadfully wrong. The efforts made to cover-up the truth of the Flint drinking water issue and the lack of a water treatment plan were negligent and irresponsible. These people should be barred from serving in the government due to their blatant disregard to serve the very people who voted them into office. All elected officials are paid by American tax dollars and I would sincerely love to know how much they are being compensated for their "public service."

  11. Lindal

    As long as our Federal Government continues to spend upwards of $700,000,000,000 (that's seven hundred Billion) dollars on the defense/security (on the Pentagon), we will not have infrastructure repairs and improvements. None of the 2016 presidential candidates is even suggesting that we end our involvement in the middle east wars. "Guns and butter" are not feasible. Guns versus butter means how much money a country spends on the military versus how much money is expended on non-military, domestic needs. This really tells us a lot about the priorities that our government Representatives set for the kind of society we can expect to live in -- To explain the obvious, our insider trading, warmongering Representatives (Democrat AND Republican) prefer buying a gun (paying for their personally profitable war) over using those dollars for butter (our infrastructure, health care, and education).

  12. Julie

    Excellent illustration of the demise of democracy in this country. as evidenced by the law passed shortly after Snyder was elected, allowing him to effectively turn any community in Michigan into his own feifdom. It is incorrect to state that the city officials were the ones to choose to se the Flint River as their water source The elected officials had no authority to choose anything. That was taken away by the governor when he appointed emergency managers who reported to him. They had ultimate decision making authority for all decisions, fiscal and otherwise, leaving the peopleelected by the citizens of Flint, completely hamstrung.
    As for the fiscal issues, many of the economic problems cited as the reasons for the "cost saving" measures can be traced back to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the automobile industry and the industries that support that segment of manufacturing. Unfortunately, Flint is one of many cities in this contry that is dying on the vine because the economic base which was founded on factory jobs, jobs that paid a decent salary, with union representation so workers had a place at the bargaining table, have essentially been shipped to China and other parts of the world. Trade agreements designed by the corporations to maximize their profits for their shareholders, which is very much ti3ed to labor costs, are much more attractive than paying an American worker enough to maintain a decent standard of living. If they can outsource their labot to Vietnam, where minimum wage is about 75 cents, of course they do it.

    Another very sad fact is that though Flint is the most visible community with poisoned water, it is not the only one. There are many, many cities and towns with water as bad or worse than Flint's.

    You might be very surprised...and probably disgusted and sickened at what's in your own municipal water!

  13. Mike

    The water in the river was corrosive. Coca cola is very corrosive.

    The lead problem was due to the decision of officials to choose to omit treatment required to make the water less corrosive so it would not break down the lead linings of pipes in the city.

    The moderator stated the cost of the treatment would have been around $100/day.

    Somebody needs to be held legally responsible for negligence and some governing entity needs to be held liable for damages.

  14. Chip Darnell

    Very true Tommy so I won't repeat what you already said so well. You mentioned Detroit... a city with problems similar to Flint. Isn't it fascinating that Detroit is one of the WORST performing school districts in the nation but is also among the TOP recipients of money to TRY to get it to perform? I'm pretty sure that money isn't being spent on competent leaders.

  15. Tommy

    Wow - water is the greatest need of man, so my heart breaks for Flint. Having said that, this started with their city going into debt - if you can't pay, you can't play. Why did Flint elect officials that couldn't budget? Secondly, what is making a pure river so polluted? Even without the Flint issue, it seems that we should be concerned about the polluted river. Lastly, government incompetence is the moral of this story....big government has the U.S. $19 Trillion in debt, so all of the U.S. will be joining Flint shortly. One question though, why did the film say only $5M was saved switching away from Detroit, but when Flint tried to hook back up to Detroit it would cost $12M? Like Flint, Detroit seems to have spent money that they don't have as well, so they can't help their sister-city...the whole situation is sad.