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Stop The World and Let Me Off...

Feeling less motivated, less productive and, in some cases, even guilty because you just don't have that much to do during this social distancing period? That's natural. After the first few days, it is time to get to work seriously, if there is truly work to be done. That's when you really need to reach inside and dig in for the good of your family, your organization, and your own outlook on life.

Dark Waters could pull you out of your reverie and help you swing back into full action--its an extraordinarily inspirational movie.

In the movie a tenacious attorney uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world's largest corporations. This is a true story. While trying to expose the truth, he soon finds himself risking his future, his family and his own life.

The story dramatizes Robert Bilott's case against the chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont after they contaminated a West Virginia town with unregulated chemicals. Remarkable performances by Mark Ruffalo (as an intense, focused attorney determined to get to the bottom of the case and ensure that the families affected get their due, while the corporation get theirs as well), Bill Pullman (who with humor and panache brings a level of additional expertise and pomp to the case) and Bill Camp (who as a farmer just wants someone to help, he faces what has become of his life and his farm with a very nuanced sense of desperation and anger). Other members of the cast are also excellent.

While the movie begins in 1999, you watch the progression of the work over long and laborious years--Robert's character misses much of his children growing up, he works at night and through many family celebrations, his wife carries much of the child-rearing responsibility. He even develops health problems as part of the stress this case brings. His determination is remarkable, digging through hundreds of boxes of evidence that the opposing lawyer thought would have him completely snowed and paralyzed. But he kept on working. As the end of the movie nears, we think there is good news, but even then everyone faces hurdles. Surely the hero flagged at times in his beliefs about the importance of this case, but the focus is on his dogged determination. He did not want to let the families who depended on him down in any way, at great personal sacrifice.

A remarkable movie, Dark Waters is absolutely inspiring for anyone inclined to watch a group fighting for justice following environmental crimes affecting unsuspecting families. All led by one remarkable man. Robert Bilott is proof that one person can change the world. It surely did for the plaintiffs in this case as well as DuPont.

A favorite quote from Mr. Bilott in the movie: "We protect us. We do. Nobody else. Not the companies, not the scientists, not the government. Us."

Words to live by during this coronavirus lockdown period.


Stop the World and Let Me Off is a part of the soundtrack of the movie and is performed by Waylon Jennings.


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