The Gamble with Our Wastes
(52 minutes) Canada/India/Italy/Sweden/USA
Director: Jeff McKay
Producer: Joe McDonald
A hazardous mix of solid and liquid waste is flushed into the sewer every day. With literally billions of gallons of water passing through municipal sewer systems – composed of unknown quantities of chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, human waste, and food – the question becomes: where does it all go? And what effect does that have on us? From ancient times, countries have chosen the sewer as the waste management system of choice, flushing untold amounts of household and industrial contaminants that inevitably resurface in the food chain; fish swim through rivers choked with waste water, while processed sewage sludge is spread on farmland as a fertilizer. With Crapshoot: The Gamble with our Wastes filmmaker Jeff McKay takes viewers on an eye-opening journey around the world to explore different approaches to sewage, starting at the 2,500 year old Cloaca Maxima in Rome, where the modern concept of sewers began. Filmed in Italy, India, Sweden, the United States and Canada, this bold documentary questions whether the sewer is alleviating or compounding our waste problem. While scientists warn of links between sewage practices and potential health risks, our fundamental attitudes toward waste are being challenged by activists, engineers and concerned citizens alike. Does our need to dispose of waste take precedence over public health and safety? What are the alternatives?
Crapshoot: The Gamble with Our Wastes is Jeff McKay’s third documentary with the National Film Board. His first film, Fat Chance, was honored with a George Foster Peabody Award in 1995. His other credits include And So to Bed, a lively look at the importance of the bed in our lives. Audiences around the world, including China, Japan, Australia and Brazil have seen it. Jeff lives and works in Winnipeg.
John Hoskyns-Abrahall, President
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