Dark Waters (2019)

Dark Waters (Haynes 2019)

Dark Waters is based on the true story of Dupont knowingly poisoning a community and ultimately the world for decades. The guiding question for us with this film is: is this a horror film? Arguably not typically considered one, this begs another question: why not? In terms of horrific actions, the mass effects of pollution are for us at or near the top of the list.
Dark Waters (2019)
Erin Brokovich (2000)

TOPIC INDEX – Dark Waters (Haynes 2019) (times are approximate) 

0:35 – Introductions
4:20 – Discussion begins
4:55 – Why is/isn’t this a horror film?
6:47 – The events of the film based on “The Lawyer Who Became Dupont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich
8:45 – The film as a film
15:12 – The horror Genre
22:50 – Sociology cut – Norms that support environmental domination 27:36 – White collar crime and horror vs not
32:28 – Motivation as crucial to the genre
36:35 – Changing perspectives from villain to survivor in the horror experience
37:53 – Interpersonal vs structural violence in horror
44:46 – Individualizing the evil
59:38 – Positives about the film
1:09:04 – Rolling Stone article on Vernal, Utah a community with similar dynamics by Paul Solotaroff.
1:11:24 – Academic article on a community with similar dynamics

Bell, E, and York R. 2010. “Community Economic Identity: The Coal Industry and Ideology Construction in West Virginia.” Rural Sociology 75(1), 2010, pp. 111–143.

1:21:07 – Grading the film
1:21:37 – Farmer as unsympathetic character

Related Episodes

Cannibal Holocaust (Deodato 1980)
Weiner Dog (Solondz 2016)

Suggested Films

The Insider (Mann 1999)
Erin Brokovich (Soderbergh 2000)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 57