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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Michael Clayton

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May 01, 2009

Movie Review Friday: Michael Clayton

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Michael Clayton (2007)
Available on DVD

In this Oscar-nominated film, Michael Clayton, a New York attorney, is called upon by his law firm to resolve an in-house mess: One of the firm's best litigators, who for years has been diligently defending U-North, a giant agro-chemical corporation, is now compromising a major case in which U-North is the defendant. Clayton gets involved and learns that there’s evidence that the company knew that the herbicide it was manufacturing is harmful to humans, yet covered up that information. When U-North's legal executive learns of the evidence, she decides to silence the matter, no matter what.

Though the plot is fictitious, one can’t escape the similarities between the movie’s U-North and the real-world Monsanto, a leading agro-chemical company. The latter has been accused of dumping toxic PCBs in Aniston, Alabama even while aware that those substances are dangerous and concealing that knowledge. Those interested in learning more can watch a French documentary called The World According to Monsanto.

--Amit Dor-Shifer

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