Is it a coincidence that two new documentaries premiering in Cannes both take on issues of waste and pollution? While one is micro (Fatih Akin's "Polluting Paradise," which premiered today) and the other is macro (British filmmaker Candida Brady's "Trashed," premiering next Tuesday), taken together, the films mark the highest profile showings of social issue docs focusing on the way trash is ruining the planet and our personal health. For a post I did for the Wall Street Journal Online "Talking Trash at Cannes," the filmmakers spoke about what drove them to make their films and what they hope to achieve with them.
While Akin fell in love with a beauitful Turkish town--beset by a contanimating landfill--Brady was driven by her own health concerns. After her second child was born, she was diagnosed with magnesium deficiency. After her doctor explained to her that we're all getting much fewer nutrients from our food, Brady began to further explore the relationship between personal health and toxic substances, and was disturbed to learn that over 400 million tons of man-made chemicals are produced every year. "I found shocking that we all have man-made dioxins in us now - extremely toxic chemicals that didn't exist a few decades ago," she told me.
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