Why Ellen Page Documented ‘Environmental Racism’ in Her New Film ‘There’s Something in the Water’ (Video)

The filmmaker only wanted to use her platform and privilege to spread awareness about the issue

“There’s Something in the Water” filmmaker Ellen Page said she never intended to make a feature film about environmental racism in Nova Scotia, Canada — she originally just wanted to use her platform to raise awareness about the issue.

“I’m originally from the province of Nova Scoatia, Halifax, born and raised, graduated high school there and my family is still there,” Page told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. “I started learning more and more about this issue of environmental racism in Nova Scotia, and I had no idea about a lot of these issues.”

Once aware of the problems, she wanted to learn more and found Ingrid Waldron’s “essential, incredible book” of the same name.

“It just felt absolutely imperative to contact Ingrid, to help use the platform and the privilege that I have, and the presence I’d say in Nova Scotia, to help get the voices out there. It evolved from there — we didn’t intend to make a feature film. When we went, that wasn’t at all what we were thinking — we did not think it was going to turn into something this elaborate,” Page said.

Initially, she had just planned to put “little pieces online to get the word out there,” but then Page started interviewing people in the communities that were affected by this environmental racism and it turned into a full-fledged documentary.

The documentary focuses on the injuries caused by environmental racism inflicted on the communities in her home province. In the film, she travels through the area that is plagued by toxic fallout from industrial development, which happens to be in low-income, remote communities.

Watch the video above.

“There’s Something in the Water” begins streaming on Netflix on March 27.