Mann v. Ford

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Co-directors Maro Chermayeff and Micah Fink discuss their documentary “Mann v. Ford,” about one of the worst environmental disasters in the United States, which was located just 19 miles from New York City. This toxic Superfund site is at the former home of the Ford Motor Plant in Mahwah, NJ, where thousands of cars were produced, along with toxic paint sludge, which was dumped on nearby Ramapough Mountain Indian land. This film tells the story of Wayne Mann, the leader of a small Native American community, who stands up to Ford. “Mann Vs Ford” is playing July 18 at 9 pm on HBO.


Maro Chermayeff and Micah Fink

Comments [13]

Robert Spiegel

Please check out this story in the Bergen Record. Its hard to believe the comments made by the lawyer who is supposed to be on the side of the community.

Aug. 03 2011 01:10 AM
Bob Allen from Ringwood nj

I,ve seen the documentary on hbo and would like to thank all those responsible for the film. I would also like to say that the wonderful residents of the area in question did nothing wrong in terms of the contamination that was dumped on them many years ago yes there were lots of illnesses and many deaths since the dumping of toxins on there comunity but inspite of the wrong that was brought upon them, they still love the area they call Home

Jul. 25 2011 10:44 AM
Gail Swanson

I just watched the documentary and was brought to tears over the incredible injustice and heartbreak inflicted on this community. I also lived in Ringwood in the Cupsaw Lake area for 10 years and became very ill while living there. I still suffer from health issues as a result.
Wonder how many illnesses of people in the surrounding communities stem from this toxic environment.
My son-in-law who grew up in Cupsaw came down with Type 2 diabetes. This is an inherited disease however nobody in his family history has diabetes.
I worked in the public school system while living in Ringwood with special needs children. It was common knowledge among the teachers that there was an unusually high amount of children with severe problems. One teacher told me she would never drink the water in Ringwood.
For the poor people living right on top of this toxic waste it has robbed them of their health and their loved ones. The blatant racism that has caused this ongoing nightmare is beyond comprehension.
Ford and all who have been involved in this complete disregard for a community that has lived there for generations should not get away with this travesty.
This is much more widespread than anyone is admitting.

Jul. 20 2011 01:42 PM
Charlene from New Jersey

I went to ramapo college, but have lived in Toms River my entire life. When I was in college I took a class where we had to write papers about the effects of this toxic waste on these people and the lack of justice they recieved now that they are all sick. It was just shocking to me that now there is a documentary made about something I studied while at school.

Jul. 17 2011 02:21 PM
USMCwife from Camp Lejeune, NC

I have read some of these comments and I have to say that these "people" as you call them are not intermarried nor are they rich. This lawsuit wasn't started over money granted they were compensated BUT after lawyer fees and then all of the division they individually didn't get much of anything. The people with the worst situations received the most and Ill put it this way It's about the salary of a NYPD officer 3 years on the job.

Jul. 16 2011 12:57 AM
Wenke Taule from Ringwood NJ

I am the former mayor of Ringwood (2004-2005) that was featured in Mann vs. Ford----one major issue that was not covered in this film is the blatant racism that was and is practiced by the municipal government of Ringwood. They allowed the dumping to take place, allowed the site to be de-listed without even a vote by the council and never supported the Ramapough's in any way. The month I was sworn in as mayor (unseating the Republicans after over 30 years of control) in January 2004 , a police officer and the property maintenance officer went into Upper Ringwood on Martin Luther King's birthday without any warning and issued 160 "junk car" summonses. I was never informed of their plan. This is when I started researching this history of the relationship between the Ramapoughs and borough hall and what I found out was shocking.
It is important to note that Governor Corzine awarded Ringwood over $1M to help the Ramapoughs during his tenure.
Also, Ford donated most the the polluted land to Ringwood borough and Ringwood Borough sold 8.2 acres that were riddled with mines and pollution (huge borough landfill) to the How-To program for $1200. These are the homes located in the area that the attorney in the film called "cancer" row. Three of these homes started sinking into mine shafts and the homeowners were displaced.

Jul. 15 2011 09:55 AM
JT from NYC

The group referred to as the Ramapo Indians are actually descendants of the original Dutch settlers of lower Manhattan and freed slaves who have intermarried for generations, all living in three towns in the Ramapo hills connected by trails. There is a lot of interesting published research demonstrating this. I wonder if their disputed status as a Native American tribe is discussed in the movie. I only heard the end of the interview on WNYC today.

Jul. 14 2011 08:09 PM

I just made a connection. I lived in Mahwah from 1977to 1995 and knew the Ramapough Indians well But later in 1999 I went back to work as a temp for Sharp. I was temping for several people who had very weird illnesses including cancer. Sharp's plant is also on the old ford site alongside the hotel.

Jul. 14 2011 01:34 PM
Tim from Nyack, NY

The plant has been closed for 30 years. The last car rolled off the line in 1980. For the guest to say "it's closed now" is a bit misleading.

Jul. 14 2011 01:28 PM
Tom from Rockland Co.

"The Ramapo tribe..." That's rich.

Jul. 14 2011 01:25 PM
Jo from NYC

I strongly disagree with the pass your guest gave EPA on the inadequacy of the first clean up. As the oversight agency EPA's responsibility was to provide effective oversight

Jul. 14 2011 01:25 PM
roger dennis from nyc

i'm listening to this now but want to be able to share this audio with others. will that be possible?

The Lopate Show responds:

Roger, the audio for all of the segments of today's show will be available on our showpage by 3 pm, Eastern.

Jul. 14 2011 01:19 PM

Will this film be shown elsewhere besides HBO?

Jul. 14 2011 01:13 PM

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