Bhopali is a documentary directed by Max Carlson that portrays one of the world’s worst catastrophes struck in Bhopal, India. It was the early morning of December 3rd 1984 when a pesticide plant which leaked methyl iso-cyanate gas that covered the entire city within just a few seconds. This plant was owned by the Union Carbide Corporation factory. At least, 10,000 people died within the few hours of the disaster due to exposure of this lethal gas. Most effects started with rigorous coughing, vomiting, eye irritation and loss of breath. The film focuses on the aftermath of Bhopal disaster and depicts the lives of survivors. The elderly suffered through respiratory conditions and severe allergies. The children suffered from lower immune systems and deformities upon receiving genetic defects from their parents. For such children, a clinic was formed which is named “Chingary Trust Rehab Center” that provided rehabilitative support and tried to make these kids self sufficient.
One of the victims was a 7 months old girl named “Saiba”, who was born with birth defects due to the toxic waste exposure. She was born three blocks away from the disaster and she often looked depressed, couldn’t walk, turn over or show any response. When Saiba was brought to the hospital; her parents complained about not getting proper treatment because of their poor status. Her father claimed, “priorities were given to people who had money.” Eventually, Saiba’s medical treatment was improved and conditions seemed better than before. However, on March 2009, Saiba had passed away after immense struggle. Another victim was “Sanjay” who lost his parents, two brothers and three sisters due to the disaster. He only survived because his elder sister carried him along and ran away. Sanjay claimed, “the gas was everywhere and we couldn’t see anything.” Then, he grew up in a foster home and lived half of his life there. Like Saiba and Sanjay there were thousands of other families in Bhopal that lost their lives and their relatives. Even after twenty years, this tragedy haunts the victims and their families. Poor people are still suffering from health issues that’s affecting their capacity to work. A large number of people still waiting to receive compensation and health benefits.
Besides that, about 3 kilometers from the Union Carbide, where the toxic wastes have spread and therefore, the water supply remained polluted. People began to put pressure on the government to clean up the plant and pollution. But the government denies the fact that there is any pollution. Hence, public blames the government and government blames the company, therefore, everyone suffers. In 2001, DOW chemical company as a secondary takes over Union Carbide. Meanwhile, the Bhopal gas victims continuously fights for justice to receive compensation, clean water supply, and proper medical treatment. They wanted help from the liable corporations and the government. And finally, after a lengthy combat DOW chemical reached a settlement and paid 470 million dollars to the Indian government which was distributed among the victims and their families. It’s a horrifying tragedy that killed about 25,000 people in Bhopal.
Click the link below to see the trailer of the film:
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