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Film focuses on river pollution

By John Dean - 16 Apr 2011 11:9:0 GMT
Film focuses on river pollution

A film that contrasts the recovery of rivers in the North East of England with the pollution in their Indian counterparts will be premiered on April 19.

To be shown at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle on Tyne in North East England,'Black River Business' arose from the experiences of Indian director Sudheer Gupta while based at Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) in the region.

Sudheer said: ''The likes of the Tyne, Tees and Wear were in a terrible condition just a few short decades ago. Now, as I saw with my own eyes while based in the region, their recovery from heavy industry and pollution is almost complete. That differs markedly from the state of the River Yamuna in my native Delhi which has turned into a putrid black drain because of industrial and human waste.''

''As well as having ruined the life of the Yamuna, this has affected the cultural and spiritual practices of those who live near it or use it as part of their daily life.'Black River Business' compares this with the recovery in recent decades of the Tyne, Tees and Wear.''

The film has been financially supported by North East company Northumbrian Water, whose Communications and PR Manager Alistair Baker said: ''From behind the lens, Sudheer's insight captures the successful story of Northumbrian Water's billion pound clean up of the region's water environment and, in this hard-hitting documentary, contrasts it with the challenges faced today in Delhi to restore the Yamuna.''

The premiere coincides with the release of a policy document called 'The Water Needs Of The World's Poor', written by IAS Executive Director Professor Ash Amin and Newcastle University's Professor Esteban Castro.

Professor Amin said: ''In a message echoing the investigations of 'Black River Business', The Water Needs Of The World's Poor has as a central message the fact that the world's clean water supply problem can be sorted out. It's not a technical problem, but a political one. It's one which requires that clean water is not treated as a commodity when it comes to meeting the needs of the poor, but as a public good. The situation has been aggravated by the global financial crisis, but it can be overcome.''