Directed by Leana Hosea • Documentary • 2021 • 58 minutes
Armed only with facts and their illnesses, extraordinary citizens take on industry and government, risking arrest to protect clean water. From Flint, Michigan to the Navajo Nation, via Standing Rock, this is their story.
Thirst For Justice follows Janene Yazzie as she searches for the source of contamination in her son’s school’s water in Sanders, Arizona. She suspects drinking uranium contaminated water from the Church Rock dam spill caused her ovarian cancer. Armed with a geiger counter, she begins investigating radioactive waste on the Navajo Nation and finds areas hotter than evacuation zones in Chernobyl.
When the epic movement for water justice ignites in Standing Rock, Janene is compelled to join. There she meets Flint water activist Nayyirah Shariff, and their struggles converge. Janene travels to Flint, where she sees first hand the similarities between what’s happening in this inner-city and the Navajo experience. The sacredness of water flows through the film, with water ceremonies and teachings from water carriers including Mary Lyons and other Water Protectors.