Main content

In Our Own Backyard - The First Love Canal

In Our Own Backyard - The First Love Canal

A classic video documentary on the nation's first encounter with toxic waste, it provides a complete and moving account of the way the people involved, both in government and in the community, responded to a frightening situation.

It shows the complexity of the democratic process in action, as government officials struggled with a new set of questions -- weighing not only what government should do, but what it could do in the first environmental emergency of its kind -- while residents, brilliantly led by Lois Gibbs, formed their own views of these questions and developed strategies including public protest and a skillful use of the media to influence government's response.

'Heartrending program...promotes realization of the magnitude of the potential tragedies seeping through the country's soil...needs to be seen in public libraries, civic action groups, and schools.' Booklist

'An historic document that carries the poignancy of a profound human problem with the balance necessary to understand it without polemics.' Anthony Bannon, The Buffalo News

'The film can work well in any one of a number of science, health, environmental science, and social science classes. The complexity of the many issues and problems it brings out encourages activities such as debate, role play, simulation, and independent research, with a premium on the development of critical thinking skills.' Curriculum Review


Main credits

Corcoran, Lynn (Director)
Corcoran, Lynn (Producer)
Corcoran, Lynn (Film editor)
Travers, Mary (Narrator)

Other credits

Camera, Lynn Corcoran, Joseph Steinmetz; sound Joseph Steinmetz, David Abbatoy.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Environmental Justice
Social Psychology
Toxic Chemicals
Women's Studies


toxic waste; Lois Gibbs, Love Canal, ; democratic process, protest, use of the media; "In Our Own Backyard"; Bullfrog Films