ECOCINEMA AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY A STUDY OF ERIN BROCKOVICH AND MOOLAADÉ
Environmental degradation often tends to become irreversible and imposes damaging costs on the economy resulting in output and human losses, loss of labour productivity from ill- health and loss of crop output. The ecological and social costs of such unrestrained pollution and degradation have put a big question mark on the perceived notion of industrialisation as a way of economic development. Industrialisation is on the increase which is undoubtedly necessary for civilisation, but so is the pollution due to emission of waste generated from these industries. The industrial pollution due to its nature has the potential to cause irreversible reactions in the environment and hence is posing a major threat to our very existence. Since the carrying capacity of the environment is not unlimited and some areas or ecosystems are more susceptible to adverse environmental impacts than others, unplanned and haphazard industrialisation has substantially increased the risk to the environment. A number of studies have shown that air and water pollution are taking a heavy toll of human life, particularly, in the developing countries through ill-health and premature mortality. Pollution control thus, assumes greater significance in the context of ensuring sustainable development through planned industrialisation. Within the social and cultural milieu, certain esteemed indigenous cultural practises like female genital mutilation encourage environmental health problems which in turn bring about maternal and child mortality. They continue up till this day because of long practice and acceptance as part of socialisation and cultural heritage by communities. Thus, this project proposes the use of ecocinema as a tool for advocacy for environmental health risks and a means for ensuring environmental justice. It identifies corrruption, poor implementation of laws, greed, lack of accountability on the part of the government and the private sector as the continued cause of environmental pollution and environmental health risks. This thesis also submits that collective action is the way forward for environmentally challenged communities to seek and obtain justice for the harm done to them. This can only achieved when they eschew rancour, selfishness, ethnic bias and dishonesty. Such values can be promoted via ecocinema which conscientizes and empowers them with information and strategies for securing justice from the appropriate authorities. Through critical analysis and interpretation of two ecocinematic films this project consulted a several books, journals, articles, internet, reports and archival documents to authenticate its position. Historical and literary research methodologies are employed to establish its argument while the standard MLA style of documentation was employed in acknowledging works cited in the dissertation.