"Arguing that vinyl is the most potentially deadly consumer product on the planet, Blue Vinyl doesn't just draw our attention to the lurking danger. Rather, this enormously entertaining documentary takes a surprisingly light-hearted jaunt through Silkwood and Erin Brockovich terrain." - Variety
Billed as a 'toxic comedy', Blue Vinyl premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Judith Helfand's retired parents decide to renovate their weather board home using vinyl siding. Judith is appalled and begs her folks to abandon their plans. She hacks off a chunk of the vinyl and drags her co-director, Daniel B Gold, across America and around the world gunning for vinyl manufacturers. Like Michael Moore in a skirt, she tackles corporate CEOs, shares tea and sympathy with victims poisoned by their career working with the product and digs deep to find the facts on a substance that literally surrounds us.
The impact of vinyl manufacture on workers and the environment is horrific, an unknown catastrophe that rivals the Big Tobacco saga. Taking a personal, humorous approach allows the filmmakers to brilliantly link unlikely stories and characters literally across continents.
Judith Helfand has worked as a documentary director and producer for a decade. Her films include The Uprising of '34 and A Healthy Baby Girl. Blue Vinyl is New Yorker Daniel B. Gold's feature documentary debut after several short films.