In Our Backyard

In Our Backyard

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An expose on the polluted industrial towns surrounding the St. Louis area, and their connections to a well known chemical company known as Monsanto.


Director Michael Silberman: "The focus of the piece is on a small village just east of St. Louis known as Sauget. Years ago this tiny area was incorporated as Monsanto.

For those who remain unaware, Monsanto Company was one of the leading chemical producers of the twentieth century and has been responsible for producing chemicals like DDT, an insecticide known to be carcinogenic, and Agent Orange, a dioxin riddled chemical used as a defoliant in the Vietnam war. Also, Bovine Growth Hormones, which Monsanto continuously tries to keep under wraps, due to the fact it makes cows sick, thus their bacteria and the antibiotics they are pumped full of go right back into American milk. As a result BGH has been banned in Europe and Canada.

Today Monsanto is an agricultural biotechnology company that is known for their genetically altering and patenting of various seed varieties, which are injected with a protein in order make the plants resistant to Roundup Weed Killer, one of Monsanto's best selling products.

Solutia is currently Monsanto's chemical division, a subsidiary made years ago when the Monsanto name became tainted. Monsanto and Solutia have received an array of negative publicity, and we must question why. We also must question what good has Monsanto Company done for this world? There are two toxic dumping sites in Sauget known as Superfund sites, in which Monsanto and Solutia have been found directly attributed to. While filming the Solutia plant in Sauget, IL. my crew and I nearly got arrested while on public property, and were coerced into surrendering our IDs only to be placed on a FBI domestic terrorist watch list.

It's important to question what exactly Monsanto and Solutia are afraid of. This film is only a brief introduction into the atrocities occurring at the hands of Monsanto in the areas surrounding St. Louis, and the world."

Winner: Best Environmental Documentary, 2009 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

Assistant Director: Mark Fragassi
Assistant Producer: Harrison Cross
Editor: Michael Silberman
Boom Operator: Nicholas Hagen
Run Time: 46:12
English, Region 0
©2009 Great Eye in the Sky Productions