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Living Downstream - Purchase Now
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Living Downstream

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Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., Living Downstream is an eloquent and cinematic feature-length documentary. This poetic and character-driven film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.


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Running Time: 85/55 mins
Subject(s): Current Affairs, Ecology, Environment, Food, Health, Nature and Wildlife, Science, Technology, Women
Language(s): English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Chanda Chevannes, Nathan Shields
Cinematographer: Benjamin Gervais
Editor(s): Nathan Shields
Production Company: The People’s Picture Company

Press

  • Handsomely photographed and powerfully argued. . . . Steingraber's scientific cool and unflagging sense of mission make for an arresting portrait of a self-styled modern-day
    The Washington Post
    Ann Hornaday
  • An absolute must-see. Excuse my clichés, but Living Downstream is powerful, it is inspiring, it is moving, it is—quietly, like our hero—a tear-jerker. And, upon seeing it yourself, you are likely to make similar exhortations to your friends and family
    CineSource Magazine
    Don Schwartz
  • “A convincing and necessary documentary. It’s also, despite its daunting subject matter, a movie you’ll want to watch. . . . A few pitch-perfect moments provide all the emotional force you would expect from a ‘cancer movie,’ minus the unpleasant tang of emotional manipulation.”

    “Living Downstream does an excellent job of engaging the viewer’s curiosity and telling an inconvenient truth through the lens of interesting science and one fascinating woman.”
    Missoula Independent
    Ali Gadbow
  • Toronto Star Review
    Keith Beaty
  • Speaking not as an activist-scientist but also as a cancer survivor (facing a possible recurrence), Steingraber's voice carries special authority… Highly recommended.
    Video Librarian
  • This is a moving and lyrical film as well as a comprehensible and convincing presentation of the science of toxins and environmental biology… Highly recommended
    Educational Media Reviews Online

Festival & Awards

  • Sustainability Film Festival
  • Telluride Mountainfilm
  • Wild & Scenic Film Festival

additional materials

  • Film Poster
  • Living Downstream: An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, by Sandra Steingraber
  • Living Downstream, Review, by Chris Magoc, Daniel McFee, and Brittany Prischak
  • New Documentary Features Alumna’s Personal Struggle to Shed Light on Cancer’s Connection to Environment, by Rachel Hatch

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  • Long Synopsis

    Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., Living Downstream is an eloquent and cinematic documentary film.

    This poetic film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. After a routine cancer screening, Sandra receives some worrying results and is thrust into a period of medical uncertainty. Thus, we begin two journeys with Sandra: her private struggles with cancer and her public quest to bring attention to the urgent human rights issue of cancer prevention.

    But Sandra is not the only one who is on a journey—the chemicals against which she is fighting are also on the move. We follow these invisible toxins as they migrate to some of the most beautiful places in North America. We see how these chemicals enter our bodies and how, once inside, scientists believe they may be working to cause cancer.

    Several experts in the fields of toxicology and cancer research make important cameo appearances in the film, highlighting their own findings on two pervasive chemicals: atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, and the industrial compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Their work further illuminates the significant connection between a healthy environment and human health.

    At once Sandra’s personal journey and her scientific exploration, Living Downstream is a powerful reminder of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our air, land, and water.

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