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A 'Poisoned' City's Spirit of Resilience

Apr 13, 2018 | 623 videos
Video by Brian Schulz

“They poisoned the whole city and left us to fend for ourselves,” says Leon El-Alamin, a resident of Flint, Michigan, in Brian Schulz’s documentary, For Flint. “We feel like we’ve been placed in a position to die slowly.”

But die slowly Flint has not. Even as the city, which faces an ongoing water crisis, recedes from national headlines, its residents display an indomitable spirit. For Flint serves as a microcosm of this resiliency, despite the health concerns, multiple economic downturns, and dizzying crime rates that plague the city. “You would expect something like this in a third-world county, not in the United States of America,” says Valorie Horton, who parlayed a 33-year General Motors career into a second calling as an advocate for arts-deprived youth. The film profiles Horton and two other residents who are inspiring positive change in what many reports have deemed one of the “worst places to live” in America.

“Almost all of the coverage surrounding Flint focused on the hardships the city faced,” Schulz told The Atlantic, “so I wanted to give the community a positive voice that had not yet been heard. Like the many great athletes who call Flint home, the city's residents possess the determination and grit that will push them past the hardships that they continue to face.”

Author: Emily Buder

About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic