starring Chris Cooper, Richard Dreyfuss, Billy Zane, Danny Huston
written and directed by John Sayles
by Walter Chaw The Summitville Mine Disaster in Colorado left over 20 miles of the Alamosa river "dead," so contaminated by waste materials (cyanide chief among them) that it very simply killed all the fish. A good thing, I guess, that there wasn't a sizable human population downstream. A superfund site now and fast becoming a sore election point in a Senate race between A.G. Ken Salazar and beer magnate Pete Coors as third-party interests begin a round of misleading, venomous attack ads, Summitville represents in a way a handy microcosm of the ugliness of the Kerry/Bush presidential election. There's a point when third-party interests and smear campaigns, on either side of the divide, start to demean all of us as a people, feeding on our worst instincts and treating us like dumb, mute animals. The political discourse in our country has devolved into a playground jibe match where it's easy to forget in the mud storm who's the rubber and who's the glue; no great surprise that the general death of conversation in our culture includes the whole spectrum of politics.