Hundreds packed into Birmingham’s historic Carver Theatre last night for the premiere of our new documentary, “Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret.” The film, directed by Alabama filmmaker Hunter Nichols, evoked an emotional response from those in the audience a palpable sense of empathy and frustration filled the theater.
The crowd was diverse, including students from UAB, educators, business representatives, health advocates, and, most importantly, residents of the affected communities profiled in “Toxic City.” Across the board, those in attendance expressed all at once anger, sadness and hope after the film.
A lively panel discussion, moderated by WBHM 90.3 News Director Rachel Lindley, lasted until nearly 9 p.m. an hour later than planned. Panelists included Sonya DiCarlo, Edward Bowser, Corey Masuca, PhD, and George Munchus, Phd. The panel unanimously agreed that the important thing about “Toxic City” is how it puts a human face on air pollution an otherwise invisible nuisance.
In an email today, GASP Executive Director Stacie M. Propst, PhD, summed up our feelings on last night’s overwhelming success: “I could not be more proud to be part of such a compelling, action-oriented evening. You made that possible, and I want to personally thank all of you who came and those of you who helped make the film a reality.”
We filmed the panel discussion for those who weren’t able to attend the event (below). However, because it went longer than anticipated the camera’s memory reached its limits, leaving about 30 minutes of the conversation off the footage.
GASP is a nonprofit health advocacy organization based in Birmingham, Ala. Our mission is to reduce air pollution, to educate the public on the health risks associated with dirty air, and to encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy production.