Movie Review – The Devil We Know

Review by Ray Schillaci
The Movie Guys

The title of this film frighteningly says it all. No, this is not a horror film nor does it have anything to do with Old Scratch himself. But, it is about a real evil, greed and what some people will do at the cost of so many no matter what the price. Sundance filmmakers Stephanie Soechtig and Jeremy Seifert have delivered an unnerving expose on the effect of the introduction of what has become a staple in households, Teflon, and the negligence and deception of the companies, 3M and DuPont, that introduced it.

The Devil We Know

This is no ordinary documentary. This is a film that will chill you to your very core when the effects of the introduction of Teflon (not just to a few people or a community, but the world) are revealed. It almost sounds like science-fiction, but it’s actually science fact.

The film is not a stomping ground for tree huggers or eco frenzy fanatics. I’m not saying that those concerned about the environment are unhinged, but there are people that do go to extremes. The Devil We Know is more cautionary than reactionary. The filmmakers lay out the story in a matter-of-fact way and at the same time personalize their tale, which makes it all the more effective.

We start with the people of Parkersburg, West Virginia. This down home community knows they’ve been wronged. People old and young relate their individual stories as they go about their daily lives. Some have even worked for DuPont, and know that the root of their health problems has been touted as one of the greatest products to make our lives easier, including the ever popular “non-stick” pan.

As time progresses, we get into the aggravating and uncomfortable interviews with DuPont’s lawyers. Having one lawyer go as far as to argue that the risk was not to women, but to fetuses. My God, has he no shame? Now, skeptics may argue that the hearings with the lawyers could have been edited, but the callousness in their demeanor when confronted with the facts of health risks and pollution is hard to ignore.

The Devil We Know

The filmmakers also give us a side story following a young man from birth to adulthood who has dealt with the specific affects of Teflon – horrible defects that haunted him most of his life. We watch a brave fight as he and his wife wonder if having a child would mean reliving the nightmare. This is heart-wrenching and it plays heavy as to how important the issue of this chemical affecting so many has become.

Between the facts, The lawyers, and the towns people, this film should weigh heavy on most people’s conscience. The chemical used to make Teflon that was introduced by 3M and Dupont proves to be an evil that should not be a necessity in our daily lives. Unfortunately, those companies and others have done this since the 1950s.

The Devil We Know

A digital download is now available along with a very informative website that I encourage everyone to view. I rarely add to films that they are a “must see“ film, but I’ll make exception to this one. This is a film that should be seen in schools, and made available to everyone because it affects all of us. If you don’t think so after reading this review, consider this: nearly all of us now have this chemical in our system thanks to 3M and Dupont. A chemical that should’ve never been our bodies and that puts all of us at a risk for high cholesterol, heart conditions, and so much more. The information is there for our safety and the safety of our children. Take some time to get informed and I promise you, you’ll be all the better for it.
Directed by: Stephanie Soechtig and Jeremy Seifert
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Run Time: 95 Minutes
Country: USA
Distributor: Cinetic Media

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