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Water is a key factor to life. We drink it and our bodies are made up of about sixty percent of it. When water is polluted it causes issues all around. In the film Erin Brockovich, one of the main issues seen is the water quality. Along with water quality, the fact that a company covered up polluting the water is another issue seen. After the film some may have even wonder what is the real Erin Brockovich doing now after all of this occurred?
The film Erin Brockovich directed by Steven Soderbergh is about a woman that was involved in a car accident which was not her fault, and she needs a job due to being put in a tight situation. Erin, who is played by Julia Roberts lands a job at a law firm by the help of her attorney Ed Masry (played by Albert Finney) where she finds medical records hidden in real estate files. Upon further investigation she finds that there was a cover-up involving water contaminated with chromium in Hinkley, California. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) was buying the polluted land to try and cover up what they had done. Together, Ed and Erin work to stop what is going on and come out winners.
It is seen in the film that water quality was a big issue just as much as it can be in the real world. The chromium contaminated water affected many of those living in the community including children. An example being when Erin is talking about Annabelle Davis, a child who was sick after being in the water. Erin (played by Julia Roberts) says “…She wanted to be a synchronized swimmer so she spent every minute she could in the PG&E pool. She had a tumor in her brain stem detected last November, an operation on thanksgiving, shrunk it with radiation after that.”. Knowing about the terrible effects the water had on the people who go in it, shows that the company would have wanted to cover it up due to the harm it causes. There have been current events that relate to water quality issues as well. For example, there was the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. There was a leaching of lead that got into the drinking water which harmed people who drank it. According to Rising Scholar, “LeeAnne Walters, a resident of Flint and a mother of four children, reported that her whole family was losing their hair, and many other citizens noted the water’s abnormally strong smell and murky color.” Water quality issues are something that can badly effect people in real life.
Company cover ups are never a good idea and have consequences. PG&E tried to buy any chromium polluted land in order to cover up the fact that they leached chromium into the water. There aren’t as many current events in relation to cover ups, but the ones that have occurred are able to have harmful effects to people. An example of a cover up that occurred would be with the roundup weed killer. It was claimed that the pesticide had a cancer-causing ingredient in it. Mireya Villarreal talked with Yolanda Mendoza about this situation. In the conversation Villarreal notes that “Mendoza is one of hundreds of people around the country suing Monsanto, Roundup’s parent company. Their lawyers cite this 2015 World Health Organization study that says glyphosate is probably carcinogenic and damages DNA in human cells”. Covering up an issue will make the problem worse as it will end up being investigated or people may start to catch on. While companies think they are trying to save themselves by covering up any situation, they are causing an even bigger issue. Although cover ups aren’t as common, it is still possible for them to occur.
Since this film is based on a true story, it may make some curious as to what the real Erin Brockovich is doing. After all the events that occurred, it seemed as if she fell off the face of the earth so to say. According to an article on the PBS news hour written by Miles O’Brien, he writes “The real-life ErinBrockovich has moved onto the national stage as a consumer advocate and now curates a crowd-sourced map of reported cancer clusters.” Knowing that she is still working hard after her work in California shows she is still thriving. She still wants people to voice their concerns and to help them in any way she can. When Erin creates these maps, she is able to get a better view on what is going on and to try and resolve the situation.
Throughout the film, it was seen that Erin fought for what was right. As the issues of the company cover up and water quality were a challenge she still pushed through. In the film, Erin states “Life is full of challenges. How you handle these challenges is what builds character. Never be afraid to be who you are”. Erin got a lot thrown at her and she stayed true to herself and came out a fighter. In the real world there are people everyday fighting for what they think is right. With any challenge that is thrown, if people continue to keep going there will be a great outcome as there was in the film.
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