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Water Alternatives


[In lieu of an abstract, the synopsis is presented] Nor Any Drop to Drink: Flint’s Water Crisis (2018) is a 124-minute-long documentary directed by Dr Cedric Taylor, a sociologist with expertise in environmental justice and racial health disparities, with cinematography by Daniel Bracken. Nor Any Drop to Drink examines the causes of the Flint water crisis and documents the crisis’s impacts on city residents years after the initial water contamination. The first half of the film analyses the political roots of the water crisis: the imposition of emergency management in Flint, a system of undemocratic rule in which the governor of the State of Michigan can appoint an emergency manager to restructure a city’s operations when it is determined to be in fiscal distress. Nor Any Drop to Drink chronicles how emergency managers oversaw the switch of the city’s water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River and resisted addressing residents’ water quality concerns after the switch occurred. The second half of the film explores various aspects of living with the water crisis: the activism undertaken by Flint residents to hold public officials accountable, the difficulties of supporting Flint children who had been exposed to lead and other contaminants, the modifications to day-to-day habits of hygiene and domestic labour, the work of monitoring household water quality amidst conflicting information, and the long wait for the city’s infrastructure to be replaced.


This is an accepted manuscript of a review first published in Water Alternatives.

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