Andrew Nisker; Garbage! maker takes his message to Walmart
National Post, by Vanessa Farquharson, Thursday, April 22, 2010
Andrew Nisker's films have never had a theatrical release, but they're suddenly getting noticed around the world, whether it's by a Transylvanian environmentalist or a top Walmart executive in Arkansas.
"The folks at Rachel Mc-Adams' blog called me, then Criss Angel's production company called, then Leonardo DiCaprio's blog posted about me," he says. "Not to name drop, but you know, the word definitely seems to be getting out."
Pretty impressive for a guy who specializes in low-budget documentaries about garbage and cleaning products. Perhaps it has something to do with his distribution methods -- Nisker makes his work available for purchase online, encouraging others to hold small-scale screenings at home or in their local libraries, which in turn leads to more viral, word-of-mouth advertising -- but it could also be that his films are straightforward and accessible, full of practical solutions to vexing environmental problems.
Andrew Nisker is a talented film maker. Fortunately he uses his talent to make films on environmental issues, bringing to our attention some of the problems we tend to ignore.
His creative approach makes these materials more accessible and makes sure we give at least some attention to stuff we usually just don't pay attention to. In his last film 'Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home', it was all about garbage. His new film, Chemerical, is getting inside the house and looks into the chemicals we use and is an invitation to a parallel world, free of toxics.
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.”
on Little Green Blog Submitted by Mrs Green on Thursday, 11 February 2010
Andrew Nisker sent me his docu film; “Chemerical” to watch. Andrew was on his way to the Green Planet Blues, International Environment Film Event, in Romania when I caught up with him to get the scoop on his reasons for making the film.
The inspiration for Chemerical came from his own childhood and through having a child of his own. Andrew realised things such as his brand new childhood house with wall to wall carpets, a chlorinated pool in the back yard, a mother that smoked before he was born and a Dad who used to come home with cleaning products (he sold cleaning products to construction sites) might have contributed to the development of his life long asthma.