Following the deaths of his father and many others from his village, filmmaker Daniel Lambo sets off on a passionate quest to reveal the truth about the deadly asbestos industry.

[NOTE: Due to copyrights, the full film will be removed on June 28.]

Director’s Note

By Daniel Lambo

I had a great childhood. I lived all my life in a wonderful small village in Belgium. Very green, great sports clubs, good schools. 200 meters from my home there was this big factory, Eternit. My father used to work there. I am really thankful for this. It paid for my food, clothes, my education.

My father even arranged for me to work in the factory during the holidays. Great! I could buy my first car.

But recently when friends started to get lung cancer, I discovered that my whole village is contaminated. Currently more than 100 people have died in my village. A good friend, Eric Jonckheere lost his father, mother and two brothers. He started a law suit against the factory. But why is he the only one?

I’m facing a wall of silence in my village. Even my father, a former employee at the Eternit factory, refused to talk with me on camera. He recently died, leaving me with a lot of questions. How can I break this code of silence in my village? That is my personal reason to make this documentary.

During the research for this documentary, I realized that asbestos was not “a thing of the past.” When I met an Indian lawyer who wanted to start a law suit against Eternit, I discovered that asbestos was still being used and produced in many developing countries like Brazil and India. My personal story became a global story. The fight of workers and activists to ban asbestos globally became the second reason for me to make this documentary.

When I dug deeper and discovered the mechanisms that corporations use to continue producing products that kill, I decided to mix two genres of documentary making: the personal story and the essay documentary. I mixed my personal, emotional quest with facts, figures and talking heads. This hybrid strategy, to combine a character-driven approach with an issue-based story, was a true challenge for me as a filmmaker, to make a complex documentary that demands both left-brain analytical engagement and right-brain emotional immersion.

With this film, I want to shine a light on the hidden dangers of the asbestos industry, and by doing so I want to support the efforts of people fighting the asbestos industry.

Like the activists and lawyers that fight together in order to ban asbestos globally, I have a clear message that I want to spread with this film. How can we prevent companies polluting our environments for sheer profit?

I want to communicate a message of hope, as we show that people around the world are fighting the practices that I reveal throughout the film.

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Source: TRT World