- 1 Season
Parched is a riveting documentary that tells the story of how big business and government policies have led to the contamination of drinking water in several communities across America. The show, which premiered in 2017 on the National Geographic Channel, features award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and Rob Bilott, a corporate defense attorney who became an environmental crusader.
The documentary starts by highlighting the devastating effects of water contamination on everyday people. We are introduced to several communities that have been impacted by toxic chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS, which are used in the manufacturing of products such as Teflon, firefighting foam, and other industrial applications.
Through interviews with affected individuals, we see how water contamination has devastated their lives, causing illnesses such as cancer, thyroid disease, and other health problems. The documentary then delves into the root causes of the contamination, uncovering a web of corporate greed, negligent government agencies, and regulatory failures that have led to a crisis in drinking water safety.
One of the key figures in the documentary is Rob Bilott, a lawyer who represented DuPont, one of the leading manufacturers of PFOA, for years. Bilott initially defended the company, but his perspective changed drastically when he received a call from a West Virginia farmer whose cattle were dying from drinking contaminated water. The farmer, Wilbur Tennant, had spoken to every lawyer in his area, but none would take his case. When Bilott agreed to represent him, he discovered a hidden truth about the chemicals DuPont was using - information that the company had kept hidden from the public.
What follows is a David and Goliath story as Bilott takes on the powerful corporate giant, fighting for justice and compensation for the people whose lives were destroyed by the contamination. His battle is not an easy one; he faces intense opposition from DuPont, which seeks to bury the findings of his investigation. But he doesn't give up, and his efforts lead to a landmark settlement that changes the way corporations and government agencies think about environmental safety.
Parched also chronicles the experiences of other communities that have suffered the effects of water contamination. We see how the Flint water crisis, caused by a series of government missteps, has devastated the health and wellbeing of the city's residents. We also hear from communities in North Carolina, where people have been exposed to toxic chemicals from sources such as coal ash ponds, and how companies have been allowed to hide the true extent of the contamination from the public.
Throughout the documentary, Alex Gibney brings his unmatched storytelling skills to bear, exploring the human impact of water contamination and the larger social, economic, and political forces that have allowed it to happen. With stunning visuals, thoughtful interviews, and a driving narrative, Parched highlights the urgent need for action to protect our most precious natural resource - water.
In conclusion, Parched is a sobering but essential documentary that shines a light on the pressing issue of water contamination in America. With its powerful storytelling, compelling characters, and insightful analysis of the causes and effects of this crisis, the show is a must-watch for anyone concerned about the environment, public health, and social justice. Gibney and Bilott's efforts to hold big business accountable for its actions demonstrates that change is possible, but it's up to all of us to keep fighting for it.
Parched is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (3 episodes). The series first aired on March 21, 2017.