Act: Inspiration

Thirst for Justice: Film

March 28, 2022

Thirst for Justice Focuses on three battles for clean water—on the Navajo Reservation, in Flint MI, and at Standing Rock—united in the belief that Water Is Life.

58 minutes
SDH Captioned>>
Directed by Leana Hosea
Produced by Leana Hosea
Co-Producers: Tony Infante, Fateh Ahmed
Editor: Rich Smith
Cinematography: Leana Hosea, Lauretta Prevost
Music: Anthony Bruno, Sara Kay
Executive Producers: John Carver, Tim Wadhams, Howdie Holmes, Jeremy Hosea, Maureen Vanderputt, Kandy Martin

“It is an obscenity that we allow Indigenous Americans and poor…urban people to drink [contaminated] water.” David O. Carpenter, M.D., Dir, Institute for Health, Univ at Albany

Armed only with facts and their illnesses, extraordinary citizens take on industry and government, risking arrest to protect clean water. From Flint to the Navajo Nation, via Standing Rock, this is their story.

THIRST FOR JUSTICE follows Janene Yazzie as she searches for the source of contamination in her son’s school’s water in Sanders, Arizona. She suspects drinking uranium-contaminated water from the 1979 Church Rock dam spill caused her ovarian cancer. Armed with a geiger counter she begins investigating radioactive waste on the Navajo Nation and finds areas hotter than evacuation zones in Chernobyl.

When the epic movement for water justice ignites in Standing Rock, Janene is compelled to join. There she meets Flint water activist Nayyirah Shariff and their struggles converge. Janene travels to Flint, where she sees first hand the similarities between what’s happening in this inner-city and the Navajo experience. The sacredness of water flows through the film, with the water ceremonies and teachings from water carriers, like Mary Lyons and other Water Protectors.

Grade Level: 10 – 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2022     Copyright Date: 2021
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-77-1

Leana Hosea

I am a multi-media journalist with 13 years of experience working for the BBC. I was the Reporter/Producer in the BBC’s Cairo, Jerusalem, Dubai, and Brussels bureaus during the Arab Spring and Gaza War. As a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, I researched environmental issues and made my award-winning documentary 'Thirst For Justice' showing on Bloomberg Quicktake. Showreel:

Tags: building resilient food and water systems, environmental justice, environmental racism, Water protectors