Terra blight, Directed by Isaac Brown
In 1983 TIME magazine bestowed its coveted person-of-the-year award to the computer. This invention revolutionized the way we work, play and communicate.
Since then, technology has advanced at an amazing speed, and in order to keep up we are replacing our old machines at the same rate, creating a cyclical stream of waste. But this is not your grandmother’s compost. Computers, cell phones, TVs, and other electronics are filled with heavy metals. A typical CRT computer monitor – the standard box we’re all familiar with – contains roughly 7 pounds of lead. In addition to lead, they also contain other toxics: cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants. While perfectly harmless on our desktop, when thrown away these antiquated electronics are classified as hazardous waste.
Terra Blight is an eye-opening documentary that examines America’s consumption of technology and the global problem of e-waste. The documentary traces the life cycle of computers from creation to disposal, and uncovers how these products are disposed of and where exactly they wind up.
The United States, for example, is the only industrialized country that does not prohibit the export of its e-waste. So while seventy percent of America’s e-waste is buried in toxic landfills, the rest is sent to developing countries.
Terra Blight brings us to one such landfill in Ghana, where young boys scavenge through mountains of broken computers, keyboards and laptops (including, ironically, computers that once belonged to the Environmental Protection Agency) searching for copper and other metals. The documentary also shows us a possible solution to the problem, taking us inside a new high-tech facility in the United States where e-waste is efficiently recycled.
After watching this film, you won’t be able to look at a computer the same way.
2012, 55 mn
Official Site: www.terrablight.com/