Jeremy Irons’ ‘Trashed’

Promotional Image courtesy of Blenheim Films

Promotional Image courtesy of Blenheim Films

No, not inebriated, but literally trudging through a mountain of garbage onscreen.

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Jeremy Irons greets viewers in the French National Assembly after a lively debate.

Jeremy Irons, at the invitation of the CNIID (National Center for Independant Information on Waste), screened his latest documentary film ‘Trashed‘ at the French National Assembly last night, just a week before the start of a governmental conference on the environment. The Festival International de Film sur l’Environment award-winning documentary shows with stunning clarity and detail the size, scope and gravity of the world’s current problem with waste. From enormous landfills ruining coastlines and countrysides, to incinerators releasing highly toxic (and impossibly tenacious) dioxins, to entire regions of ocean literally turned into a plastic sludge; Irons’ and director Candida Brady show just how serious these problems are, how governments have been slow to respond or altogether indifferent, and what some people are doing to turn a new leaf.

And the film’s visuals – shocking, at times disturbing – contribute to the urgency of these kinds of changes.

“There is a clear feeling from a growing number of people that the time has come for us all to start to try and change our ways, and to endeavour to live a more careful life,” Irons said.

A debate following the screening had Irons scolding somewhat progressive and environmentalist French MPs on their unwillingness to take firm, simple measures and their constant over-complicating the problem. A multiple award-winning stage and screen actor, Irons’ move into documentary seems motivated by a need to educate not only politicians, but publics as well.

“We’ve made this movie because there are so many people who feel strongly the urgent need for the problem of ‘waste’ and ‘sustainability’ to be addressed,” Irons says. “There is an equally urgent need for the most imaginative and productive solutions to this troublesome subject to be understood and shared by as many communities as possible throughout the world. This is where movies can play such an important role, educating society, bringing ‘difficult’ subjects to the broadest possible audience.”

Closing the debate, Irons said, “I’m not an environmentalist, nor a scientist. I’m a storyteller.” The visual narrative presented by ‘Trashed,’ through Irons’ narration and on-screen appearance, is one of discovering an everyday tragedy of global proportions and a call to action.

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