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Erin Brockovich - still fighting for clean water

posted 18 Feb 2012, 09:10 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 18 Feb 2012, 09:10 ]

Erin Brockovich says she will never stop fighting for the good cause as she supports new environmental documentary 'Last Call At The Oasis.'

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich became associated with the issue of polluted water after the film made in 2000 - 'Erin Brockovich', for which Julia Roberts won an Oscar. Ten years later, the 51-year-old is still fighting and still going strong. At the Berlin Film Festival, she introduced the latest movie project she
is involved with: 'Last Call At The Oasis' comes from the makers of Food Inc. and 'Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien' and shines a light on why water is the most important and most underestimated resource on our planet.
"We don't think about water and we do take it for granted because we turn on a tap and there it is," Brockovich told Reuters Television. "And maybe we take it for granted because outside of seeing it in our tap we don't really really understand water underneath us. And that it is going away and that it is contaminated and how it can affect you," she added.

The film makers state that water is the Earth's most valuable resource. But instead of treating it with care, people have allowed it to become polluted with toxic chemicals and agricultural and industrial waste.


Participant Media, the company that has illuminated such issues as climate change, the industrialization of food and the state of public education in the U.S. turns its attention to the global water crisis in 'Last Call At The Oasis'. With Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu and Academy Award nominated producer Elise Pearlstein, the film explains the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions. It also presents a convincing argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century.

"I do believe people realise without water we are doomed. So they don't want to think about it and they just take it for granted," Brockovich said. "But we got some water issues coming up. Water will be a commodity someday and we are going to trade it like oil and it shouldn't be that way. The time has come where we are going to start thinking about water and the importance of water. Even though we already know it, we don't know it. And I am hope that this film will enlighten everybody."

Brockovich came to prominence investigating the prevalence of cancer cases in Hinkley. The movie focused on the advocate's work as a paralegal with residents of Hinkley. In that case, 660 Hinkley residents sued the utility PG&E for damages from groundwater contaminated with the chemical hexavalent chromium. The plaintiffs received a $333 million settlement in 1997. To this day, Brockovich remembers the case and the consequences the movie led to vividly: "I never expected all of this to happen, I really didn't. First of all, I'd never expected it would go on for ten years, I never expected the response from people when the film came out that were already facing crisis, water crisis, health crisis," she said. "You know, part of me, too, thought that Hinkley was just that small community and nothing else was affected. And my eyes were blown open. After the film came out, we were inundated with hundreds of thousands of emails from people all over who were suffering the same fate. So the film really, you know, was that you-put-your-finger-in-the-dyke-moment, and thousand other floods opened up. I didn't see that coming."

Brockovich still puts up a fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, but she says it is not always easy to keep going: "It's difficult. Sometimes I get very very overwhelmed. I have had a child coming home from war and another one that could be going to war," she said. "I see people suffering and it breaks my heart. I cry, I am not always composed, I am not always put together. Many times I can be heap on the floor, but I allow myself that moment to feel that and get back up and know that there is always hope. I will never lose hope, I will never stop believing. It's a great life we have, it's worth fighting for, it's worth standing up for others. I love people, I love my children. It's life. It's one shot. And I am going to take it and I am going to make the best of it. But not every day is a good day."