“Death by Design,” now there’s a cheery film title. Being concerned about environmental issues requires a certain amount of devotion to gloom and doom topics. Kudos to filmmakers who find more optimistic, more practical/tactical stories to tell. However, kudos as well to filmmakers tackling disturbing stories that churn outside our awareness tracking.
The death dealer in this documentary is found in virtually every home and travels, in pocket or purse, everywhere we go. The proliferation of computers quickly expanded from PCs to laptops to iPods, iPads, and iPhones. There’s reason to single out Apple products in the progression of consumer must-haves, but the corporate juggernaut includes plenty of electronic device makers.
Apple is the most profitable corporation in the world (Samsung is third). Apple and their ilk depend on a supply and disposal chain that is a flagship of terrible working conditions and hazardous waste (both conveniently outsourced out of sight and mind). Add to this, the brilliance of stoking a throw it away and buy the latest and greatest mentality. The resources consumed to produce miniaturized computers boggles.
The witches brew of chemicals used in production flows through corporate channels of “you can’t prove we caused your cancer or your child’s defects.” Legally speaking, matters get resolved and paying fines is cheaper than complying with regulations.
Open your eyes for the hour and a half it takes to view “Death by Design.” It isn’t just a story of them, the companies that mastermind consumer culture. It’s a sobering underpinning of us who are the consumer culture.