I’m pretty late getting to this one, seeing as how TIFF wrapped up almost a week ago. After skipping The Obituary Of Tunde Johnson (tiffr) Saturday I took my solitary self to see There’s Something In The Water (imdb | tiffr), the new documentary from Ian Daniel and Ellen Page about how Nova Scotia — Page’s home province, and mine — isn’t doing enough to protect its water. It was inspired by the book There’s Something In The Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities by Dalhousie professor Ingrid Waldron. [link]
Stories about dump chemicals seeping into the water in the south end of Shelburne, where descendants of black loyalists live, were new to me, but I was more than familiar with the setting for the second story — Pictou Landing, where the local pulp mill pumps chemicals into Boat Harbour. I was there thirteen years ago, and smelled the chemicals from a few miles away when the wind shifted — I seriously can’t imagine what it’s like up close. You could see Page almost gagging in the documentary when she got near it.
The third site was another body of water I know well — the Shubenacadie river, which runs through central NS and over/along which I’ve driven countless times. More importantly, it flows into the Minas Basin where I swam as a kid, and where my family members continue to swim today. A natural gas company wants to hollow out storage caverns for its natural gas, pumping the brine into the Shubenacadie. A group of local Mi’kmaq women is working to stop them, but needs help. You can learn more here, and donate to their legal fund here.
All in all, a straightforward and effective documentary, but first and foremost an important documentary.
Cover photo from the TIFF website