Maro Chermayeff, chair of the MFA Social Documentary Film Department, and Micah Fink, a faculty member in that department, share directing credits for Mann v. Ford, which premieres July 18 on HBO at 9pm. (Also playing at other times throughout July and August, check HBO for the schedule.) The film follows the Ramapough Mountain Indians of Mahwah, New Jersey as they engage in a legal battle with the Ford Motor Company.
Between 1967 and 1971, Ford had an assembly plant in Mahwah and dumped industrial waste in the backyard of the Ramapough Indians. The Ramapough and their legal counsel maintain that the waste was full of toxic chemicals, and as a result, members of the community have experienced abnormal health issues and almost every home has lost someone to cancer.
Led by Wayne Mann and other community leaders for the Ramapough, the group gathered more than 600 plaintiffs in 2006 and charged Ford with negligent toxic poisoning and property damage. Mann v. Ford tracks the Ramapough’s fight for justice, and provides a sobering look at the American legal system.
Watch a trailer for the documentary below.