Chemerical DVD Review

Vitality Magazine — Michelle Singerman — February 2010

The First World War was a war of chemical warfare. It was a period in history when humanity witnessed the introduction of chlorine gas and ammonia to be used against the enemy, with extreme results intended – and achieved. Skin melted off, eyes burned and insides turned to liquid. From 1914 – when the first chlorine shells were fired – to now, we have contentedly watched these corrosive chemicals leave the battlefield and enter our homes. Even though the Armistice of 1925 outlawed the use of such poisons in warfare, housewives across North America have since welcomed these toxins with open arms, excited to look at their reflection in the kitchen sink.

Chemerical, released at the end of 2009 by Take Action Films, unveils the truth behind the most common household cleaners on this continent, in what is labelled “toxic debate.” Independent environmental filmmaker Andrew Nisker set out to see how an average family could handle the challenge of switching from their toxic-addicted attitude to a more neutral position of open-mindedness and acceptance towards earth- and body-friendly cleaners. Although the film technique is a bit kitschy and might work better without trying to be so creative, the main idea is not lost: We are a nation addicted to chemicals. As Take Action Films says, “Chemerical explores the life cycle of everyday household cleaners and hygiene products to prove that, thanks to our clean obsession, we are drowning in a sea of toxicity.”

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