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I lived 20 miles from the town the mix up occurred. I was told the chemical that was mixed with feed would not harm me or my family and that it stayed in the body of humans in fat cells. I have 2 daughters that I believe suffer the effects of this chemical and can not get much help from government concerning what happened on those farms and the true effects it has on the body. Michigan did a great job of a cover-up and still does for that matter. My daughters have tried to get information concerning what happened to no avail. This movie is the only one made on the matter and I am going to try to get a copy to show to my daughters. I remember watching it and at the time did not know my daughters had reproductive problems that are extremely unusual and not something my ex husband and I ever had a family history of. Thank you Mr. Howard for making a movie that tells what really happened and not what the state of Michigan is covering up.
I was amazed at this film. The story takes place in a fictional area, but I know for a fact that it was in Michigan during the mid-late 60's My relatives were on farms affected by the poison in this movie and the events actually occurred. Some of my relatives died as a result of the tainted food supply and others came down with horrible cancer growths. To this day, the farmers are not to speak of this event and the government covered up this story very well. I have to give Ron Howard a lot of credit to bring this information to the public, even though most will not know the true story. I do not want to give away the plot, but you must see this for yourself and then see if you can actually believe that it really happened. By the way, do some more research on the foundry sands of Detroit and see what they did there! There is not a movie about that part yet.
Ron Howard does a wonderful job as a dairy farmer whose cattle have become diseased, and because he uses the cows' milk to feed his newborn son, the baby also becomes very ill. Ron Howard runs the gamut of emotions and portrays each one beautifully. A compelling story, and Art Carney and Tarrah Nutter also do a great job in support.
Ron Howard and cast present the best modern depiction of a United States farm and the demands of modern farming. Facing a unknown peril that has him losing his dairy herd a young farmer faces disparagement and questions about his farming ability while his children also become ill. The movie is based on the true story of PCB's entering the food chain in the mid 1970's. Great acting, drama and suspense plus a great mix of home, work and family in the grasp of technology. One of Ron Howard's most underappreciated works.
Most movies I see I forget after a while. Others, like Pearl Harbor, or Star Wars, stay with a person. I saw Bitter Harvest as a TV movie in 1981. It left an emotional stamp on my soul that I carry to this day. I don't even know why. Maybe I just believed Ron Howard really cared about the subject of the movie, beyond the playing of a character, and it showed. Tried to buy but was almost seventy dollars on one site. Good job. The story is about a farm family, faced with the ruin of their way of life because of the poisoning of their dairy herd. Faced with a decision no farmer should have to make, the lead, played by Ron Howard, makes the most financially ruinous, but the most ethical one. He shows everyone what an honest man does; tells the truth, and does the right thing. Try to see if possible.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this movie, this young dairy farmer starts to have problems with herd and doesn't know the problem. He calls the state Ag. board and the state sent two guys to come and look at his animals and feed. The men took samples from the feed and took it to the lab. While the samples were in the lab, the herd was getting sicker, along with other the neighbors herds. Final, once they got the lab test back, it said there was nothing wrong with the food, that it was Male-nutrition problem due to lack management. But the dairy farmer was not giving in on that and found out that the feed had poison in it, and that it didn't leave the cow and could be given to people if they ate the cow or drank their milk. The Ag industry went to court but after it was all said and done the court said it was minor problem and not to worry about it. So the farmers took it in their own hand and killed all their cows to show that it was a big deal that needed to be taken care of.
I can't say enough about this movie especially since much of it was filmed
in my home town of Healdsburg, California. The production studio rented
"Iceberg Cafe" where I worked as a young man and I had the opportunity not
only to meet Ron and the rest of the cast but also we catered their
while they filmed there over several days. I was only 16 but Ron being the
genuinely Nice person treated me like a good, good friend.
I baked apple pies, (Just Like Shirley Taught me) for the crew and offered Ron a fresh hot slice in between shootings. We set at the counter and talked about mostly me, (Go Figure)
He was very personable and was/is a great guy....
I hope this movie comes out in DVD and when it does, I highly Recommend it! I give it 10 STARS & 2 THUMBS UP...
I remember moving to Michigan in 1976 just three years after the event
depicted in this movie began and the disaster was still very much a hot
topic. Voices were being raised and fingers being pointed on both sides
of the issue. There were people frightened of being poisoned by an
insidious substance that was said to persist in the body and cause harm
for the rest of one's life. On the other side were people from the
government, industry, agribusiness and elsewhere claiming that there
was no need to panic, that the contamination was under control, that
the levels of PBB people had been exposed to were insignificant and
there was no threat at all to public health. That last statement was
rather hard to swallow since farmers and dairymen were losing their
herds to quarantine and disposal and milk products had virtually
disappeared from grocery store shelves in parts of the state. The
loudest voices raised over the issue in my recollection were the
farmers who were facing bankruptcy over the contamination and seen to
be doing everything to hide themselves and their livelihoods from it.
Mostly I remember fear, fear from the public who didn't know who to
believe, fear from the agribusinesses facing career-ending losses, fear
from government officials who by the time I came on the scene were
scrambling in full-on cover-up mode, and, of course, the fear whipped
up by the yellow media smelling blood and ratings in a juicy news
I thank the producers of the show for bringing it to our attention even if I only discovered this film just now 30 years after it was made and broadcast. I've wondered about the PBB contamination and what became of it but until watching this show I hadn't really ever followed up on it. After all, there was no Google in 1976, or 1981 for that matter when the film was made. I'd wondered if anyone was ever made to pay for the damage and if there was ever a tracking of people's health who were exposed. There was, on both counts, you can look it up with an internet search like I had to.
Excellently acted, excellently produced, easily watched, I'd recommend it to anyone who has ever felt as though there wasn't an adequate watchdog effort over what happens to people and the environment in the pursuit of profits.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I did a search on AF 10 while watching this movie, found this website, and I don't know how it ends. I just wanted everyone to know that this movie is available to watch 24/7 on Netflix. For those who haven't seen it or want to watch it again, it's available on the internet. It is based on a true story and I knew there had to be something on the internet that explained what the substance AF 10 was all about. In the movie the farmer, played by Ron Howard, can't get any help from the state when his dairy cattle begin getting sick and begins making a list of things that could go wrong. The AF 10 was not only making cattle sick it was also making humans exposed to it sick also.
This movie aired on National Television on May 4th 1981 where it was based on a true story that occurred in Michigan back in the late sixties. This movie starred Ron Howard as Ned De Vries, Art Carney as Walter Peary and Tarah Nutter as Kate De Vries. This movie about a young man named Ned who went to college to study business. He married his child hood sweet heart Katie and they have a newborn baby boy. Ned had just found out that his father died so when Ned and Katie heard that they might sale his dads farm Ned and Katie moved back home to the farm to help run it. After being there for a while Ned discovers his love for farming and that he didn't want to be any where else. It's about one year later and everything is going fine. It's early in the morning and Ned goes to barn to Harold his handy man to milk cows and clean stalls. Katie takes there son and goes to another building where she feeds the little calves. Later in the day in a pouring rain storm Katie's favorite cow named Test is ready to give birth. She does and she gave birth to very healthy baby bull. Things start to go wrong so along comes Walter Peary. Walter has a dairy farm of his own across the street from the De Vries place. They kids ask Walter to come over because the baby bull won't nurse of his mother or out of a bottle. As time goes on Ned starts to notice that his milking production is down and his cows are slowly getting sick. However, what really was noticeable was the rash on Ned's baby boy. So he talks to Walter and Walter suggests to Ned that he calls in the state. Along comes a state Agriculture figure and a state appointed doctor. They examined Ned's cows, check his barn and his feed. The state tells Ned that his cows are suffering from mild nutrition and bad management. One day while digging around Ned finds a dead rat, so after pounding a hole in the wall Ned finds another dozen dead rats. What is going on here? Will the state's agricultural officials do something about Howard's plight, or will red tape and bureaucracy ruled the day. What happens to Ned's herd? Will his milk production go down to no production at all? Most of all what happens to Ned's fathers farm. Here are some thoughts of my own about this movie. I thought this was and excellent movie. I was raise in the country and there nothing that smells better then a dairy farm. The longer I watch this the more home sick I became. I remember the days of cleaning hog stalls, separating pigs, baling hay, picking rocks, and not eating until 7 or 8pm at night. However, the one good thing about eating that late is that you were hungry and you ate a lot. This movie was based on a book written by Frederick and Sandra Halbert. A lot of people were affected by this poison that showed in milk and tainted foods. Some people even died and some people developed horrible cancer growths. The government really tried it's hardest to cover this story up and farmers that lived through this still won't talk about what happen in the state of Michigan. This movie was filmed in southern California and was nominated for 4 Emmy awards. I give this movie 10 weasel stars alone based on the true story and the beautiful farm sites.
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