Synopsis (via IMDB)
A woman deals with the toxic water scandal in Flint, Michigan, and the effect it has on her family.
Lifetime is taking counter programing to a whole other level with it’s upcoming line up of movies, starting with this past weekend’s Flint. Instead of the light hearted Christmas romances of Hallmark Channel or melodramatic women in peril-films of Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime appears to be holding true to is statements about rebranding back in 2015:
“ Recruiting more high-profile directors and talent helped improve Lifetime’s reputation within Hollywood as well. “We felt like, to be honest with you, we weren’t going to get the community to change their ways of doing business with us; we had to initiate the change and we knew they would come along,” said Lopez, the senior vice president of original movies. “And that’s really what happened.” (Source)
So we have the “based on a true story” version of Flint, Michigan and its citizens. We follow the story of four women in the town who are affected by the water crisis that still ongoing today. As the opening credits roll, we see a dichotomy of race and class in Flint. LeeAnne Walters (Betsy Brandt) is stopped in her car at a stop sign as Nayyirah Shariff (Jill Scott) pull up on her bicycle. Nayyirah acknowledges LeeAnne, while LeAnne looks right through her. This sets up a thesis for the film about white privilege and not seeing what is in front of you until you are directly affected. While it isn’t necessarily paid off at the end of the film, it is a far cry from the tokenization of POC on Hallmark Channel.
Everyone is affected by the water crisis. Iza Banks (Queen Latifah) is a mother who is caring for her pregnant daughter Adina who has just learned she is pregnant and eventually loses the baby due to the hazardous drinking water. Melissa Mays, a DJ, has a seizure, hair loss and medical problems from the contaminated water. LeAnne’s kids have a rash and her water has a lead count of over 104.
The women meet and learn as much that they can about the water system and go to the city council to get the city to use water from Lake Huron, a request that is denied due to the city being broke. The stores run out of bottled water and things are looking bleak. Instead of sitting back and giving up, the women band together.
Everything comes to a head in a dramatic scene where Queen Latifah shines. Shouting un-bleeped expletives at the city council officials in “Flint Live Matter” shirts. The citizens of Flint activate and test their water supply in a video montage… because it wouldn’t be a TV movie (or a movie I’d enjoy) without one.
Things get all Sally Field in Norma Rae at the end and it was pretty great.
The crisis is not over and these women still fight for the city of flint. You can help Flint have clean water by donating HERE
Apparently, Cher was originally cast as herself but had to back out due to a Serious Family Issue. (Cher donated millions of water bottles to Flint residents when the crisis began.)
The city of Flint won’t have clean water until 2020 at the earliest.
🍷🍷(2 glasses of wine required, I added an extra because they drink wine in the movie)
*Photo Credit: © 2017 : Michael Kovac / Getty