Sweetgrass, Cinema Guild
Washington, D.C. Premiere The story of one of the most powerful and effective community initiatives in the history of North America started with one lone voice in 1984. Dr. June Irwin, a dermatologist, noticed a connection between her patients’ health conditions and their exposure to chemical pesticides and herbicides. With relentless persistence she brought her concerns to town meetings to warn her fellow citizens that the chemicals they were putting on their lawns posed severe health risks and had unknown side effects on the environment. Dr. Irwin’s persuasive arguments and data to back her findings eventually led the town of Hudson, Quebec to enact a by-law that banned the use of all chemical pesticides and herbicides. The mightiest chemical companies in North America put their full legal weight on the tiny town and eventually the case made it to the Supreme Court of Canada. This film follows the journey of Paul Tukey, a leading expert on organic lawn care, who, after falling seriously ill with acute pesticide sensitivity from applying chemical lawn products in his own lawn care business, became an outspoken advocate for alternatives to chemical lawn care. He travels across Canada lecturing on the subject. It’s an inspiring story of overcoming great odds and demonstrates the power of people coming together as environmental advocates to effect great change in our society. Directed by Brett Plymale. Produced by Paul Tukey and Tim Rhys.
Introduced by a representative of AED. Discussion with filmmaker and star of the film Paul Tukey follows screening.