Available on VOD tomorrow, Tuesday, September 25: TERRA BLIGHT
Isaac Brown’s examination of the impact of computer construction and disposal premiered at Slamdance earlier this year. Additional stops include Docutah, Maui, and the upcoming New Orleans Film Festival, among others. The doc will be available via iTunes, Amazon, and Movies on Demand thanks to FilmBuff.
Running just under an hour, Brown’s film presents a unique subject that merits greater public awareness: the environmental impact of the rapid growth of a disposable electronics culture, and, specifically, of the personal computer. Focusing on the life cycle of a computer, the film exposes the hazards posed by e-waste, from the creation through the casual disposal of our electronics, which is much more involved than most consumers think. Subjects include scavengers, anti-waste activists, and computer resellers in Ghana, where computers are disposed of by the US; big box store employees, who push for sales of electronics; electronics recyclers in the US; gamers and gaming convention employees, who demonstrate the remarkable amount of power used for computers; residents of a town polluted by IBM computer manufacturing chemical spills; and even the inventor of the UPC barcode, who reflects on the way computers have changed society. While there may be a few too many subjects packed into its slim running time, the film is decidedly successful in confronting viewers with the inconvenient truth about first world e-waste, and how poorer countries are suffering because of it.