US film Tim Robbins, Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo on TV today

Mark Ruffalo in
© ARD Degeto/2019 Focus Features LLC and Storyteller Distribution Co., LLC

A popular plot: There is an overpowering corporation, dark machinations and lone fighters for justice who take on the unscrupulous corporations. It often turns into good stuff with a happy ending. The biography “Dark Waters – Poisoned Truth” on Monday at 11:50 p.m. on MDR is a film with a very bitter aftertaste.


According to the committed legal drama, the harmful substance perfluorooctanoic acid, which is involved, can be detected in 99 percent of all people: It is in Teflon.

The 1998 film centers on the lonely anti-hero Rob Bilott, played by the elegantly slightly bloated Mark Ruffalo. He’s actually a somewhat jaded defender of huge corporations, but one day farmer Wilbur Tennant shows up in his office and asks him for help. The rancher is an acquaintance of Rob’s grandmother and grumpily waves videotapes. After initial hesitation, Bilott visits his grandmother in West Virginia and lets Tennant show him what it’s all about: 190 of his cows have died in agony. The man is certain that the chemical giant DuPont’s factory is to blame. The company poisons drinking water, killing animals and causing cancer in people, he believes.

Tim Robbins, Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo Star in Dark Waters: The Poisoned Truth

Bilott gets permission from his boss (Tim Robbins) to pursue the case as a hobby. He has no idea that this is getting him deeper and deeper into a maelstrom that is threatening not only his career but also his family, because at night he desperately argues with his pregnant wife (Anne Hathaway) about how toxic the Teflon pans are in are in their household.

Not only Mark Ruffalo’s acting performance is remarkably disillusioned. In the end, the greatest strength of the drama of 2019 is not offering any solutions. Instead, watching is left with anger at a company that is endangering the health of billions and a problem that still exists.



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