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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Erin Brockovich

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May 21, 2010

Movie Review Friday: Erin Brockovich

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. 

Erin Brockovich (2000)

Available on DVD

Erin Brockovich is the ultimate portrayal of the power of grassroots organizing. After getting a clerical job at a law firm to make ends meet, single mother Erin Brockovich sees a connection between pollution from a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plant and the serious medical conditions of people in the nearby town of Hinkley, California. Brockovich begins piecing together the case in an attempt to hold PG&E accountable, but soon finds herself up against a company that will stop at nothing (from bribes to death threats) to prevent word about their deception from spreading.

As this is a true story, we're not spoiling anything by revealing that PG&E allowed a dangerous chemical to leak into groundwater, contaminating Hinkley's drinking-water supply and causing the town's residents' cancers, miscarriages, and migraines.

Julia Roberts is perfect as the tenacious but compassionate title character, a role that earned her a best-actress Oscar. Her portrayal of Brockovich's struggle to raise children and find happiness fits neatly with her struggle against PG&E.

Erin Brockovich proves that it can pay off for an ordinary but determined citizen to stand up to a corrupt company. Watching this movie can provide hope for those who work to make corporations take responsibility for the messes they create.
--Sophie Matson


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