Hot Docs 2014: Divide In Concord (Kris Kaczor)

2014_hotdocs_stock_imageScreening for the 2nd time today at the Lightbox, with one final screening 3 May at 11am at the Isabel Bader Theatre is this wonderful David and Goliath tale, set against the reenactment of the opening shots of the American Revolution in a small town called Concord, Massachusetts.

Jean Hill is on a mission. She’s trying to bring awareness about the growing problem of plastic bottles, and how despite what people think about recycling, 80% of them end up in the landfill that is the Pacific Garbage Patch that is growing every year.

Hearing someone dismiss the fact that the Garbage Patch is thousands of miles away and doesn’t mean anything to them in the opening minutes shows the lack of responsibility that has begun to permeate a culture obsessed with ascertaining their freedom, but not taking any responsibility for their actions or the state the planet is being left in for those that follow.

Jean has set her sights on the highest selling plastic bottle beverage, water, and is trying to get the single serve bottles outlawed in her town, hoping to inspire responsibility over convenience.

To be clear, she’s not against the selling of water, she even goes so far as to point out options for the bottle company – selling refillable containers in varying sizes, as it is, most people now own a water bottle, and they’re fairly inexpensive to pick up if they don’t. I’ll even go one further, make a portion of each store a water bar, or even a soft drinks bar in general. People come in, fill up their bottle, pay for it, boom. It could be a nice little throw back to the Soda Fountains of the 50s… and that’s just off the top of my head.


Some people, however, see this attack on the water bottle as a threat to their very freedom, and try to paint Jean as a villain by suggesting that she is trying to deny water to everyone, families, children, what have you. Foremost amongst them is the publicist and pundit, Adriana Cohen, who after seeing her posing in a picture with Mitt Romney I had pegged. She’s not about freedom, she’s about lining pockets, and not taking responsibility for the world she lives in, sad, considering she’s raising three children.

Working with Cohen is the local grocer, who over previous years has remained quiet, but it’s hinted the big names in the water bottling company, Nestle, Coca-Cola and others may have pressed him. In fact the bottled water companies bring out the big guns, and try to bury the town in propaganda and flyers…

But as awareness grows in the town, especially amongst the younger generation who are readying to vote for the first time, a battle of epic proportions is building…

Loved this one! The idea of one person fighting for what they know is right, especially against something like corporate greed, alongside a lack of caring about those who come after us always gets my attention.

Check this one out! It gets surprisingly tense, right up to the last minute!


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