What Lies Upstream (2018)



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In this scandalous political thriller, the filmmaker behind TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY takes his investigatory grit to West Virginia where he looks into a mysterious chemical spill that left 300,000 people without drinking water for months. As the story deepens, we discover scientific cover-ups and political malfeasance across all levels of government, poisoning the entire system meant to protect drinking water. The Washington City Paper called WHAT LIES UPSTREAM "the scariest film at AFI DOCS" while Variety wrote it's "a quietly devastating documentary" that "builds a persuasive case against not only industry and political figures, but also the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency." Winner of the Special Jury Prize for investigative filmmaking at the Seattle International Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for What Lies Upstream

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

By acknowledging what isn't known about drinking water, but what should be illuminated about the mechanism behind it, "What Lies Upstream" proves an exemplary piece of advocacy filmmaking.

Jan 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Is "What Lies Upstream" persuasive in all respects? No. Will it make you think twice about what's gone unnoticed in your tap water? Absolutely.

Jan 11, 2018 | Full Review…

This quietly chilling wake-up call is sure to be one of the most vital documentaries to hit theaters in 2018.

Dec 21, 2017 | Full Review…

Hoback does an impressive job of methodically building his case. And he's every bit as adroit when it comes to fashioning, over the course of his film, an insightful account of two intriguing players in this ongoing real-life drama.

Nov 20, 2017
Top Critic

It seems to me that this timely new film establishes that the current attention given to Pruitt's living situation in Washington, D.C., and pay raises for officials in the EPA, are miniscule compared to the environmental disaster ahead.

Apr 13, 2018 | Full Review…

A powerful cri de couer about terrifyingly lax government oversight of the water supply.

Jan 11, 2018 | Full Review…

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