Special event presented by University of Iowa Office of Sustainability, ECO Iowa City and FilmScene.
Free and open to the public. Free admission at the box office night of show. Seating first-come, first-served.
Dialogue: Post-screening discussion to follow.
"If we must talk trash, Mr. Irons--assisted by a scientist or two and Vangelis's doomy score--is an inspired choice of guide." - The New York Times
Jeremy Irons stands on a beach beside the ancient Lebanese city of Sidon. Above him towers a mountain of rubbish-a pullulating eyesore of medical waste, household trash, toxic fluids and dead animals-the result of thirty years of consumption by just one small city out of how many in the world? As the day’s new consignments are tipped on top, debris tumbles off the side and into the blue of the Mediterranean. Surrounded by a vast reach of plastic bottles, a forlorn Jeremy Irons stares at the horizon. “Appalling,” he mutters.
We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it. Does anyone think about what happens to all the trash we produce? We keep making things that do not break down. We have all heard these horrifying facts before, but with Jeremy Irons as our guide, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year. On a boat in the North Pacific he faces the reality of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the effect of plastic waste on marine life. We learn that chlorinated dioxins and other man-made Persistent Organic Pollutants are attracted to the plastic fragments. These are eaten by fish, which absorb the toxins. We then eat the fish, accumulating more poisonous chemicals in our already burdened bodies. Meanwhile, global warming, accelerated by these emissions from landfill and incineration, is melting the ice-caps and releasing decades of these old poisons, which had been stored in the ice, back into the sea. And we learn that some of the solutions are as frightening and toxic as the problem itself.
Having faced the worst through much of TRASHED, Jeremy Irons turns to hope. He goes in search of solutions. From individuals who have changed their lives and produce almost no waste, to increasing anti-waste legislation, to an entire city which is now virtually waste-free, he discovers that change is not only essential, but happening.