Earlier this year, Lifetime, the channel known for hits such as Liz & Dick, Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story, and of course, Mother May I Sleep with Danger, announced it was making a movie about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. While Cher (yes, that Cher!) was initially attached to the film, she ended up dropping out due to a family emergency. But now the movie is almost here, and it’s called Flint.
Flint, inspired by Time’s 2016 cover story on the crisis, focuses on the activist women who exposed the contamination and the government’s attempts to cover up the damage. It stars Betsy Brandt and Marin Ireland as LeeAnne Walters and Melissa Mays, real life mothers and activists, Jill Scott as organizer and Flint Democracy Defense League member Nayyirah Shariff, and Queen Latifah as Iza Banks, someone who she described in an interview as an “amalgamation of many women and Flint residents who joined local protests and became activists during the water crisis.”
While there absolutely should be far more media attention on the situation in Flint, a heroic Lifetime dramatization of the situation seems strange, since—even though a number of Michigan state officials have been charged with involuntary manslaughter over a fatal outbreak of Legionnaire’s during the crisis—Flint still doesn’t have clean water.
Lifetime held a premiere for Flint in Flint, and while Nayyirah Shariff, who attended, did point out some exaggerations and inconsistencies, overall, it seemed like something of a success with the community and with the women who were being portrayed in the film. Here’s hoping that it continues to draw attention to the crisis, which again, isn’t over.