Combustible Celluloid
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Directed by: Drury Gunn Carr, Doug Hawes-Davis
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 124
Date: 03/19/2013

Libby, Montana (2004)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Try Not to Breathe...

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This very long (124 minute) but well-made documentary dutifully tracks the history of a small Montana town. Formerly a logging center but stripped of all its trees, the townspeople began to mine and manufacture an insulation called vermiculite. Unfortunately, the stuff was made up of asbestos, which blew around and stuck to everything: clothes, cars, carpets, etc. Hundreds of people began to die of lung diseases. Directors Drury Gunn Carr and Doug Hawes-Davis interview the town's survivors and document the ignorance and indifference of the bigwigs in charge, revealing that the town is still a dangerous place to live today. In addition, a fight has sprung up about whether to label Libby as a superfund site. This is shocking, devastating stuff.

DVD Details: Libby, Montana did not receive much of a theatrical release -- if at all -- and its DVD release is under a small label, High Plains Films, so it might be hard to find. Extras include trailers, deleted scenes, interviews with the directors, and a 1950s promotional film about asbestos. Visit for more info.

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