Death By Design

View on The Global Environmental Justice site

This film was selected by sal johnston, C. Wright Mills Chair in Sociology, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology,Whittier College

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Consumers love - and live on - their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side, hidden from most consumers. In a documentary that spans the globe, filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the electronics industry and reveals how even the smallest devices have deadly environmental and health costs.

From the intensely secretive factories in China, to a ravaged New York community and the high tech corridors of Silicon Valley, Death By Design tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.

“You won’t look at your iPhone in quite the same way again after viewing Sue Williams’ thoughtful documentary.” -- Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times

“Vital. Provocative in its focus on giant American corporations.” -- John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter “Everyone should see this film.” -- Sydney Brownstone, The Stranger

“Both jaw-dropping and heartbreaking, Death by Design forces the viewer to reconsider their whole approach to technology.” -- Hannah Clugston, Aesthetica Magazine


Main credits

Williams, Sue (film director)
Williams, Sue (screenwriter)
Williams, Sue (film producer)
Steinman, Hilary Klotz (film producer)

Other credits

Director of photography, Sam Shinn; composer, Paul Brill; editor, Adam Zucker.


Capitalism, Computer, Consumerism, Conscious Consumer, Digital addiction, Electronics, E-waste, Health, iPhone, Labor Studies; Occupational Health and Safety ; "Death by Design "; Global Environmental Justice

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