Blue Gold World Water Wars

Julie Slavet
Jan 21, 2011

Blue Gold: World Waters Wars is a very scary film. It takes a probing look into the world of water privatization . . . and the results aren’t pretty. People are literally dying in parts of the world due to the privatization of their water supply. One particularly heartbreaking scene describes the story of two young girls in Kenya whose shack caught fire one day while they were home alone. There was no way for the girls to access water, and their neighbors, who were able to access corporate-controlled water only for an obscenely high price, literally could not afford to put the fire out. Both girls died.

Suffice it to say, this movie is disturbing. It is also chocked full of valuable information, to the point where it can sometimes feel like information overload. Teachers who want to use Blue Gold as a teaching tool would probably find it most beneficial to show in excerpts in order to give students time to digest and reflect upon all of the complicated information that is presented in the film.

While Blue Gold contains some seriously disturbing facts and images, it is not all gloom and doom. The story that resonated most with me personally was that of Ryan Hreljac, a young Canadian boy who heard about the lack of water access in the developing world and decided to do something about it. Told by his teacher that a well would cost $70 to build, first grader Ryan approached his parents for the money. His parents gave him an opportunity to earn the money by doing household chores, figuring he would never follow through. About four months later, Ryan took his $70 to a well-building foundation, only to find that wells actually cost something more along the lines of $2,000.

Little Ryan was not deterred. He kept raising money and ended up establishing Ryan’s Well Foundation, which has since raised millions of dollars for clean water solutions in the developing world. It is stories like these that make me so proud of the work we do at TTF. We can only hope that for every greedy corporation, every polluter, every person who has given up on clean water issues altogether, there is someone like Ryan dedicated to creating positive solutions. In fact, from now on, every time I go into a first grade classroom, I’m going to think about Ryan and all the difference he has made. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next Ryan Hreljac is sitting right here in the TTF watershed!

Watch the Blue Gold trailer below!

Buy it here:Blue Gold: World Water Wars

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