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Forget Halloween: “The Devil We Know” Film Tells Truly Scary Story

Environmental Health Strategy Center and The Riley School
09.25.2018
Category:
News Releases

Documentary screening in Rockport on October 21 tells riveting, shocking story
of corporate misconduct and widespread toxic chemical exposure

ROCKPORT, Maine, September 25, 2018—Forget Halloween. Here’s something really scary.

On October 21, the Maine-based public health organization the Environmental Health Strategy Center joins The Riley School in Rockport for a screening of the shocking new film, “The Devil We Know,” in advance of the documentary’s wide release on Netflix in 2019.

Hailed by Variety as “a riveting tale of long-term irresponsibility and injustice,” the documentary that debuted to wide acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival this year unravels one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time: the widespread toxic chemical contamination of one town’s drinking water supply, and the astonishing lack of regulation of the chemical industry.

What: Screening of “The Devil We Know,” followed by informational reception with refreshments
When: 2-5 p.m., Sunday, October 21
Where: The Riley School Theatre, 73 Warrenton Rd, Rockport
Register: The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register online at bit.ly/devilweknowdoc

“The Devil We Know” portrays the lives of citizens in rural Parkersburg, West Virginia who take on the multinational chemical corporation DuPont after discovering it has been knowingly dumping a toxic chemical into the drinking water supply.

As the citizens of Parkersburg rise up against the forces that polluted their town, the story extends to dozens of other American cities. In fact, at least 6.5 million Americans in 27 states are drinking water tainted by the same toxin.

Here in Maine, children and families across the state are unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in their food and drinking water.

At the screening, the Strategy Center will describe its work for safe drinking water for Maine families whose wells are contaminated by arsenic, and its campaign to phase out PFAS and other toxic chemicals in our food that are linked to cancer, infertility, and learning disabilities. Audience members will learn ways they can get involved in this work and take action for safe food and drinking water.

“Children learn and grow best when they are healthy,” says Rebecca G. Clapp of the Riley School. “It concerns me as an educator that unintended exposure to toxic chemicals is linked to asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, and serious illnesses. It feels important for parents, grandparents, and everyone in our community to learn about and support work in our state to protect all of our children's health."

“As a mother, I was extremely shocked to learn there is no real oversight of industrial chemicals before they go to market in this country,” said “The Devil We Know” director Stephanie Soechtig. “When we heard about what happened in Parkersburg, West Virginia—how a handful of citizens took on DuPont—it seemed like the perfect story to highlight and bring to life a very pressing social issue: our daily exposure to toxic chemicals.”

This is the first event in the Riley School series “Raising Healthy Children in a Changing World.” 

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The ​Environmental​ Health Strategy Center protects public health in Maine and nationally by fighting for​ ​safe food and drinking water, toxic-free products, and good green manufacturing jobs. 

The Riley School strives to create an exciting, healthy and balanced learning environment with an individualized and comprehensive academic program that values academic as well as artistic and personal growth.