Hollywood Makes Movie About PFAS

Dark Waters is a 2019 American legal thriller film directed by Todd Haynes and written by Mario Correa and Matthew Michael Carnahan. It is based on the 2016 article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare" by Nathaniel Rich, published in The New York Times Magazine.

Parts of the story were also reported by Mariah Blake, whose 2015 article, “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia” was a National Magazine Award finalist, and Sharon Lerner, whose series “Bad Chemistry” ran in The Intercept.

Robert Bilott, the principal character in the film, also wrote a memoir, Exposure, detailing his 20-year legal battle against DuPont.

The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper, and Bill Pullman.

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Dark Waters was theatrically released in a limited capacity on November 22, 2019, by Focus Features, and went wide on December 6, 2019.

The film received positive reviews from critics and has grossed $10 million.


Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate lawyer from Cincinnati, Ohio working for law firm Taft, Stettinus & Hollister is visited by farmer Wilbur Tennant.

Tennant asks that Rob links a number of unexplained deaths in Parkersburg, West Virginia to one of the world’s largest corporations, DuPont, and gives Rob a large case of videotapes that Rob puts aside.

While Rob is actually a corporate defense lawyer, he helps chemical companies pollute without breaking the law, he still visits the Tennant’s farm as a gesture of respect and kindness, especially since his grandmother still lives in Parkersburg.

When he reaches the farm, Tennant reveals that over the past couple of years, he has lost over 190 cows to strange medical conditions such as bloated organs, black teeth, and huge tumors.

At the farm, Rob witnesses the problem first hand when Tennant is forced to put down a tumor covered cow right in front of Rob’s eyes.

Even though he is a defense lawyer who is on very good terms with executives at Dupont, he decides to submit some inquiries, especially for an EPA report that Tennant wanted to see but couldn’t.

After receiving the EPA report, and looking over it extensively, Rob brings the results to Tennant telling him that their is nothing wrong with the water. Tennant receives the news angrily and sends Rob away.

In the process, he risks everything – his future, his family, and his own life – to expose the truth about PFOAs, the “forever chemicals.”



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Dark Waters (2019 film)



  • Dow and Dupont have merged to restructure their operations.
  • Do you think the “merger process” is just for business purposes or may it also be for legal purposes ? You know… you organise the bankruptcy of a company to avoid having to pay heavy damages … What do you think?




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