Documentary Review: “Cheshire, Ohio” (2016) ★★★★

Courtesy of Chicken & Egg Pictures

Before electricity came to the picture, the world may not have been as lighter and brighter as it is now, but it certainly was happier and healthier, which we can’t boast of the same nowadays. The people of Cheshire, Ohio had nothing to worry about, as its residents would enjoy the beautify of Mother Nature fully, until the day when the American Electric Power puts Gavin Plant into exploitation with a single 1,100 foot smokestack. This would send emissions hundreds of miles away towards the Northeast and Canada…

CHESHIRE OHIO is very important and an eye opening documentary film about how the Gavin Plant and its burnt coal would poison people’s lungs and cause a disastrous disease with no chance to recover. It also clearly indicates that with enough money, power and influence, a peaceful and harmless environment can easily been turned into a weapon that can make people to abandon or sell their houses for the sake of their health and life.

It begins with 2013, where the opening credit promises to tell the story of American coal in three acts. Then it takes the audience eleven years earlier, when Ohio’s Cheshire was still populated with 200 residents. One of them was Boots Hern who moved to Cheshire back in 1938. She has the most sweet and warm memories from back then, before her neighbors and friends would catch the cancer due to coal burnt by the power plant. She also said that the corporate company scared everybody to sell out their houses to the power plant next door. And of course, many of them understandably had to do it as some of them still have little children that they must raise to be as healthy as possible.

The turn will be taken by another resident of Cheshire, Gladys Rise, and shortly after, Eva and Larry Cochran, due to the dangerous cloud on top of their head make them to take a life-changing decision. Eva and Larry confess that they had never paid attention to the power plant until they started feeling sick. But soon, as the story unfolds, you will see that not everyone was able to retain their life… and the company that will buy a small city from its residents to turn it into a ghost town…

Eve Morgenstern’s film reveals some shocking facts, that, I am afraid is relevant for any country or a little city that has the power plant next door. It is about how the government or big corporations try to cover up the damage they bring with their plans, as money, and not the health of people was their primarily concern. In the end, some of you may tell but the power plants are very important for the electricity to be produced, and you might be right.

After all, we all want to surf internet and watch our TV programs. But the question, what is better, to sit in the dark and still be able to inhale a fresh air, or to live next to the power plant and inhale an enormous amount of acid that will slowly burn our lungs? Indeed, it destroys us, and will bring a serious damage to our planet. It is just a matter of time, I hope, none of us will live that long to see the devastating result.


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