Heute abend, 7 PM (das wäre um 1 Uhr nacht unserer Zeit) bin ich bei der englisch-sprachigen Premiere von "Age of Aluminum" an der Carnegie Institution For Science. Das ist gleich um die Ecke von meinem Hotel. Und die Schreibweise ist kein Fehler: Hier in den USA sagt man - im Gegensatz zum Deutschen (aber auch zum britischen Englisch) - ALUMINUM. Mit fehlendem "i" und Betonung auf dem ersten "u".
|Carnegie Institution of Washington|
Based on his own book “Dirty Little Secret—The Aluminium Files,” Ehgartner examines the omnipresent silvery white metal that touches us every day in many ways. It is, after oxygen and silicon, the third most abundant element. No other metals are more plentiful. It’s nearly a tenth of the world’s solid surface weight. It’s also a neurotoxin. Bet you din’t know that. Touch any of the following and it’s aluminium: soda/beer cans, bicycle frames, building materials, packaging, lots of car parts, shower stalls, toothpaste, cosmetics, even naked women. Oops, how did that last one get in there? It’s not for comic effect, believe me. It’s part of the small tragedy that bookmarks the film.
Just as you examine the barely pronounceable ingredients on any number of items on the grocery shelf for fat or diet-related ingredients, a young Frankfurt midwife, Eva Glave, learns that some chemicals can cause medical issues and has probably contributed to hers—she has already had a partial mastectomy and has cysts in her other breast. Despite her avid use of deodorant—she produces a fierce profusion of sweat—apparently the substance aluminium chlorohydrate is a no-no (and two-thirds of all deodorants contain such compounds). An oncologist provides alarming information about armpits (honest!) and exposure to various cosmetic industry additives. Buttressing the aluminum industry is one of their own toxicologists who purports that there is no evidence that the small fraction of metal that gets absorbed by the body does it no harm “Most of that does not penetrate the skin.” A spokesperson for the European Department of Medical Assessment that says no action need be taken. Ehgartner obviously is no supporter of the latter hypothesis.
Norsk Hydro, Europe biggest company associated with the metal, offers up a research and development manager, Werner Jager, as the first of several talking heads in this production, making you wonder if the film is merely an industry-sponsored promotional piece. Especially when some of the interspersed “family” sequences, with accompanying canned music, pushes too much “fun” into some of the staged sequences, where a mom-dad-son-daughter unit are brushing their teeth (together!), affixing a tire to the car, or drinking from generic cans.
As for Jager, the cameras follow him to Porto Trombetas in Brazil, where his company runs a huge bauxite mine. Located close to the earth’s surface, the narration casually mentions that “large areas of rainforest” have to be sacrificed. Nothing but tractors, big trucks, and other mining equipment is shown raping the red-tinged earth around the clock, pushing up company profits and depleting resources. The camera pans across the destruction as the narrator offers nonchalant observations. To assuage any distaste, as a post script, we’re told that Norsk Hydro is reforesting (it’s obligatory), but it takes 20-40 years to rebuild. “In only three decades time, it will all be green again.”
Feeling sad yet? Read on.
Morgen läuft in diesen Hallen im Rahmen des Environmental Film Festivals übrigens die Washington D.C. Premiere des Films "Harmony". Wir haben bei "Age of Aluminium" mit Howard Nightingall ja auch einen sehr prominenten Sprecher. Mit dem Narrator und Hauptprotagonisten von "Harmony" können wir es trotzdem nicht ganz aufnehmen. Den Job erledigt nämlich His Royal Highness, Prince Charles persönlich. Ob er auch persönlich antanzt, so wie ich, glaube ich jedoch eher nicht.