[Videolib] Bhopal Express and any other films on Bhopal

Dylan McGinty (dylan@frif.com)
Wed, 22 Sep 2004 16:29:43 -0400

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First Run/Icarus Films is releasing LITIGATING DISASTER, the new
documentary from Ilan Ziv (Human Weapon, The Junction). Because this film
has just been completed, it is not listed on our website yet, so I've
pasted a description below.

For more information about Ilan Ziv or his previous work, click here:

A Film by Ilan Ziv

December 3, 1984. Bhopal, India. The biggest and deadliest chemical
disaster of all time. Now, nearly twenty years later the ordeal isn't over
- justice has not been served. Had the disaster occurred in the developed
world, heads would have rolled, prison sentences would have been served,
changes would have been made. But it didn't happen in the West, but in this
obscure Indian city.

Around midnight on December 3 huge amounts of toxic gas leaked from the
Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, poisoning hundreds of thousands
of people, and killing thousands. Today, hundreds of thousands of people
still suffer. Drinking water for at least sixteen nearby communities
remains severely polluted, while, to date, no court of law anywhere in the
world has ever held Union Carbide or any of its officers responsible for
what happened that night.

How is it possible that nearly two decades after an event of such magnitude
there is no legal closure? Why has the case been left to rot in the
backwaters of the legal system without delivering justice to the victims?

The powerful new film LITIGATING DISASTER explores how Union Carbide
successfully manipulated both the US and the Indian legal systems against
each other, to avoid having to defend its record in the Bhopal plant in
court. Featuring, a young Indian-American lawyer, the film follows the
case he brought on behalf of the victims in front of the Federal District
Court in New York. Case number 99CIV 11239 has survived two motions to
dismiss, and is now proceeding to trial.

Constructed as attorney Rajan Sharma's case as presented to fictitious
jurors, LITIGATING DISASTER takes the viewers on a riveting cinematic
investigation; presenting the compelling evidence assembled against Union
Carbide including unique, never before seen documents unearthed through
prolonged legal struggles, exclusive interviews with Union Carbide former
officers, powerful archival material, and scenes filmed in and out of the
abandoned plant.

As the story unfolds, the film makes it clear the real culprit is the lack
of any international law or tribunal to govern the activities of
multinational corporations. Or, Rajan Sharma puts it to the imaginary
jurors, "The consequences of leaving something like Bhopal un-addressed,
creating this kind of vacuum in the legal systems of the world for impunity
for these kind of multinational corporations for this type of conduct means
that there is a certain inevitability of this kind of
tragedy recurring again and again until somebody has the sense to say
that just because this happened in the Third World or in a developing
country does not mean we do not have to take it seriously."

Dylan M. McGinty
Director of Operations

First Run / Icarus Films, Inc.
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn NY 11201

Tel (718) 488 8900 / (800) 876 1710
Fax (718) 488 8642
Email dylan@frif.com
Web www.frif.com

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