What Lies Upstream

WHAT LIES UPSTREAM (Cullen Hoback, U.S.). 87 minutes. Rating: NNN Cullen Hoback's documentary isn't the first to explore the connection between industrial.


WHAT LIES UPSTREAM (Cullen Hoback, U.S.). 87 minutes. Rating: NNN


Cullen Hoback‘s documentary isn’t the first to explore the connection between industrial overreach and the contamination of America’s drinking water. But it’s certainly the most pessimistic, given that it ends with the election of Donald Trump and his promise to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But even before Trump’s election, Hoback points out, the EPA and CDC weren’t doing as much as they could. The film documents structural failings and collusion with corporate interests to redefine standards of protection to the point of toothlessness. 

It’s all awfully disheartening, and though Hoback leans a little too heavily on manipulative music cues and grainy news-footage FX, I can’t blame him for doing everything he can to convey the urgency of his message.

May 2, 9:30 pm, Isabel Bader May 3, 12:30 pm, TIFF 1 May 5, 9:30 pm, TIFF 1 May 6, 3 pm, Fox

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