The Human Experiment
Film Review by Kam Williams
Cautionary Documentary Warns of Toxins in Everyday Household Products
I suspect that this eye-opening expose’ will probably play out like a case of preaching to the converted, since the only people willing to watch a depressing documentary about the toxins poisoning just about everything in the environment are likely to be well-informed folks already inclined to agree with the picture’s central thesis. That being said, The Human Experiment is nevertheless an excellent flick, even if it might have a hard time attracting a wide audience.
Co-directed by multiple Emmy-winners Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, Jr., the picture indicts the chemical industry for the dramatic increases in cancer, autism, genital deformities, asthma, leukemia, ADHD, infertility, birth defects, early onset puberty and pediatric brain tumors. The problem is that instead of policing the polluters, the Environmental Protection Agency has adopted an innocent ‘til proven guilty approach which makes it nearly impossible to get an unhealthy product off the market.
That point is driven home by reminding us how past EPA ineptitude enabled the tobacco, lead, asbestos and vinyl chloride companies to “get away with murder” via a combination of deception and distraction. Today, it is China that is often the culprit, reflected in how it treats the U.S. like a dumping ground by shipping stuff here containing formaldehyde and other poisons it has banned domestically.
The Human Experiment features interviews with a number of very dedicated activists, such as Jessica Assaf who risks arrest to slap homemade warning labels on hazardous goods sitting on store shelves which read, “Ingredients in this product have been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity and reproductive toxicity.” A cautionary expose’ making a convincing argument that consumers would be very wise to learn all they can about the ingredients in the products they buy.
Excellent (4 stars)
In English and Spanish with subtitles
Running time: 91 minutes
Distributor: Area 23a / FilmBuff