Polluting Paradise

97+ min. In Turkish & German w/English subtitles. Fatih Akin, dist. by Strand Releasing, www.strandreleasing.com. 2018. DVD UPC 712267380121. $19.99. ENVIRONMENT
For five years, director Akin followed the residents of Camburnu, a peaceful Turkish village near the Black Sea. The provincial government had decided to establish a landfill at a former open pit mine. The mayor opposed the project, but the government sued and won. As operations began, neighbors protested the smell of rotting garbage. Soon, leaks in the landfill membrane let effluent seep into the ground. Local tea planters were concerned for their crops. Later, heavy rainfall led to waste overflowing. Akin (In the Fade) filmed a blockade of the access road and a confrontation between villagers and engineers. The landfill was poorly designed and managed, while the engineers appear to have been duplicitous. The government did build a containment wall, but the wastewater tank at the site collapsed. The population of Camburnu decreased as residents fled. The single bonus feature is an interview with Akin.
VERDICT Viewers concerned about the environment and democracy in developing nations will be strongly disturbed by this horrific situation.
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