On the night of December 2, 1984 forty one metric tons of methyl isocyanate also known as MIC was released from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. After one year of this incident almost 1800 people dies in this disaster and 320,000 people had been affected by it. By 1991,around 4000 people dies because of the gas in their body. Union carbide was a U.S company that started manufacturing pesticides in Bhopal, India. The valve malfunctioned on the 2nd December 1984 because of which a lot of water got inside the storage tanks where MIC was stored. MIC is very harmful when it comes in contact with water. It starts heating and it turns into a gas which can be very fatal if inhaled. Within 2 hours the storage tank was empty and all the gas was out there in the city. The wind carried the cloud of gas to a vast area of 40 sq km.
The next morning, several thousands were discovered lying dead on the streets of Bhopal, filled with fluid and in some cases holes appeared in the lungs due to the reaction with MIC. To date, they claim 20,000 have died and 150,000 are chronically ill and clean-up efforts are not up to date. Communities around Bhopal drinking water are still contaminated. Women are having gynaecological problems and are giving birth to babies that have birth defects. Thousands of seriously affected survivors have suffered such extensive lung damage, that they no longer can apply themselves physically. Their vision often gets blurred, spells of dizziness overtake them and walking briskly even for a few minutes sends them gasping to their knees, their chests aching.
Now the major question that arises in my mind is, was it an accident or not. I am asking this question because this catastrophe could be avoided if the four safety measures were working and if the company had told the people what to do in case of such an incident. 1 the refrigeration system was switched off which could have kept the MIC cool and not turn it into gas. 2 the gas scrubber which could neutralise the gas with caustic soda, was on stand by. 3 the alarms were turned off by the company so that there is no panic in the city. 4 the flare tower could burn off the gas and prevent disaster but it was not working. These are the reasons because of the disaster took place and it was the company’s fault it did not take any precaution.
The movie in the three act structure
The movie is beautifully made and it had all the things that are there in the three act structure- First act- it creates the plot of the movie and introduces us to the main characters of the film who tell 5 different stories during the tragedy. They were:- Suman Dey- the technician who was in the office when the disaster took place
Shahid Noor- his father had a contract to mow the grass at the factory. He lost both his parents during the incident has some breathing till today
Mehboob BI- she was the husband of Chand who used to work at the factory. She lost her youngest child on the night of the disaster, her second child 3 years later, and her husband in 1999.
Swaraj Puri- he was the chief of police when the accident took place
Kumkum Saxena- she resigned as a medical officer with Union Carbide before the disaster when her safety concerns were ignored.
The plot was developed and they introduced us to each and every character, what the whole movie is about, and how the chain of events took place each and every detail has been taken care of like how the water was mixed with the fluid or how Ashraf died.
The second act- it tells us what the problems that were faced by the people were. The toxic air went inside their bodies and made holes in their lungs, their eyes started burning, pregnant women started lost their children inside their womb and how the children were affected because they were the closest to the ground where the air settled. It also tells us how the company had failed to take the safety measures because of which this accident happened.
The third act- it tells us about the condition of the people, how they were cremated, and how Warren Anderson was arrested. This documentary has created a great impact on the people by showing the truth behind the accident and what the people of Bhopal went through. The only problem I found was that some scenes were really disturbing like the old man coughing out foam from his mouth. Such scenes should not be shown this way because some people might be disturbed by seeing it. May the souls of the ones who died in this tragedy be at peace.