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What Lies Upstream (2017)

In this scandalous political thriller, an investigation into a chemical spill spirals into an indictment of the entire system meant to protect drinking water, revealing cover-ups at the highest levels of government.


Cullen Hoback


Cullen Hoback
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Marc Edwards Marc Edwards ... Self (as Dr. Marc Edwards)
Rahul Gupta Rahul Gupta ... Self (as Dr. Rahul Gupta)
Mona Hanna-Attisha Mona Hanna-Attisha ... Self (as Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha)
Cullen Hoback ... Self
Randy Huffman Randy Huffman ... Self
David Lewis David Lewis ... Self (as Dr. David Lewis)
Maya Nye Maya Nye ... Self
Martin Riese ... Self
Andrew Whelton Andrew Whelton ... Self (as Dr. Andrew Whelton)


In this classic detective story, investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback travels to West Virginia to uncover the truth behind a massive chemical spill that left 300,000 people without drinking water for months. But when Hoback discovers an obscene collusion between chemical corporations and the highest levels of government, the investigation spirals in a terrifying direction, and we learn the frightening truth about what lies upstream of us all.

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The Truth Has Been Spilled




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Release Date:

20 January 2017 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

I was completely disgusted!
26 May 2018 | by LogicIsEverythingSee all my reviews

What I saw in this film has shocked me to every bone in my body. "Chemical Valley?" Jesus, the water is safe to drink or to use but not safe to the pregnant women" What kind of American logic is this. The DEP of WV only proved itself as a moronic, useless, purposeless bureaucratic authority. All the governmental officials, corporate owners, all the members of every State and Federal elected members were just a combination of liars and morons. American legal systems were polluted and controlled by the special interest lobbyists. There's no hope at all in the foreseeable future since America is controlled by these people, liars and morons. Politicians only self serving to themselves and those who donate their campaign funds. Drinking water is the 2nd important thing to human beings other than air, but the people who run the government don't give a damn, they simply could not care less. I just can't believe Americans still feel so proud to accuse China to poison their people but fail to realize they are also the victims of their BAD governments, not just WV or Flint, Ohio or Flint, Michigan, it's everywhere. EPA? I could only say it's only better than nothing. More cancers, more revenues and profits to insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. More health problems? Better more than less, otherwise the lobbyists won't keep swarming to Washington D.C.. We, the common citizens, are no better than the Chinese, poisons are all over the world.

Remember the precedented environmental book, "Silent Spring" published on Oct 22, 2002 by Rachel Carson and Linda Lear? They've pointed out that America had been polluted so seriously, so when Spring came, the whole environmental nature around those heavily polluted areas were so silent without any lively creatures in the creeks, the streams, in the dirt, on the ground and on the trees? It's a 2002 book that had awakened a lot of people to finally realize the terrible aftermath caused by those chemical factories. Yet in 2017 and 2018, these terrible things fatally affecting the lives of Americans are still there, nothing changed or improved. You don't have to worry about how terrible the nuclear winter would be, before nuclear war, these poisonous chemicals would have either killed you or given you numerous cancers.

Among all the liars we've seen in this film, the worst one is Dr. Rahul Gupta. Just within two years, he has become a turncoat from a normal person with conscience into a certified liar. Another living proof of how people would change completely and shifted to the opposite side against his people once he was promoted to a new governing job with higher salary. Dr. Rahul Gupta should be ashamed of himself. And how about the POTUS? You tell me, man. You elected him, so you deserve the guy who deregulated almost all of the environmental laws and ensure your life and health better and safe than ever. You should re-elect him for his 2nd term. What kind of voters will have what kind of government; you absolutely deserve it. "God Bless America" is not just a slogan or wishful thinking, it's a fact and sure thing.

These kind of documentary films are just too depressed and too stressful to watch, because once you watched, the Hope for the Future was totally lost.

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