the true story of a health tragedy

It is at the same time upset and revolted that one emerges from the viewing of Minamata, drama signed Andrew Levitas, diffused this evening on Canal +. Overwhelmed by shocking and heartbreaking images and sequences. Revolted by the subject he addresses, as tragic as it is truthful. In the 1970s, war photographer William Eugene Smith (Johnny Depp on screen) was sent to Japan by the American weekly Life, armed with his Nikon camera, to photograph the population of Minamata, victim of poisoning from the mercury due to industrial pollution from the Chisso petrochemical plant. He will reveal to the world the (real) devastation of what is called “Minamata disease”.

From the early 1930s to the mid-1960s, the Chisso company’s petrochemical plant discharged its heavy metals, including mercury, into Minamata Bay, a small port town on the island of Kyushu, Japan. . As early as the 1950s, the first cases of a fatal disease were observed in cats. But the mercury, then released in large quantities, is ingested by the fish in the bay, and will soon find its way onto the plates of the inhabitants of Minamata. And poison them, causing major nervous disorders, loss of sight, hearing, even deformities, in children and adults, even in utero. However, it was not until 1968 that the responsibility of the Chisso factory was recognized by the authorities, and 1973 so that the firm was condemned to (…)

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