In April 2014, Michigan governor Rick Snyder switched the water supply of the city of Flint from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Many residents of the city soon began to suffer from numerous health problems and discovered that the change in water supply was putting tens of thousands of residents in danger of lethal lead poisoning, one of the most disturbing stories of modern-day America.

Though the crisis did make national headlines for a time, the story soon faded away and many are unaware that the health impacts of this crisis are still tearing the city apart today. Enter documentary maker Anthony Baxter, who has spent the last five years documenting the crisis and talking to residents of the city to tell their side of the story.

In its best moments, Flint taps into a powerful feeling of anger and bitterness about the widespread exploitation that has occurred in the city. But for all of its focus on the struggle of Flint’s community, there is a bizarre lack of explanation about exactly how Snyder managed to exploit an entire city for his own financial gain. There is a clear narrative of racial and class-based inequality that courses throughout this story and this city, but Baxter fails to even briefly touch on the overarching narrative of oppression. It is something that Michael Moore had previously addressed in Fahrenheit 11/9 and did a far better job in exploring the real roots of the story.

Ultimately, it is a huge step to see a documentary that attempts to restore focus onto one of the biggest scandals in modern day history. But Flint increasingly fails to address the deeper lying issues within the crisis. Somewhere between Moore and Baxter lies the true, vital story of this devastated city. Hopefully someday we will see that film.



CAST: Alec Baldwin (Narrator)

DIRECTOR: Anthony Baxter

WRITER: Richard Phinney

SYNOPSIS: Since 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan has been ravaged by a toxic water supply and its residents have been locked in a long-running fight for justice.