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Asbestos lawyer welcomes UK premiere of documentary 'Breathless' on asbestos

The shocking impact that asbestos has on the developing world is explored in this award-winning film

Posted on 04 October 2018

The UK premiere of an award-winning documentary on the impact of asbestos in developing countries will take place on Saturday 27th October in Central London, followed by a discussion including the United Nations Rapporteur for toxics, Baskut Tuncak.

Breathless, which had its global premiere at the International Film Festival in Brussels in June this year, aims to show how asbestos companies cynically expanded to the less-developed world in order to perpetuate a dangerous industry for profit.

In India, the asbestos industry continues to expand which will cause asbestos-related deaths for decades to come according to the film makers.

The documentary from the Storyhouse production company, tells of Eric Jonckheere, whose mother, father and two brothers died from mesothelioma, who travels to the largest asbestos dump in India to find a community affected by the same Belgian company.

It is a story of profit over people, but also of how ordinary people can stand up to corporations.

Krishnendu Mukherjer, a dual qualified barrister from Doughty Street Chambers, travels to India with Eric and also explains how the asbestos industry spied on him and other campaigners who campaign against the asbestos industry and spread knowledge regarding dangers of asbestos to life.  

Harminder Bains, a partner at Leigh Day, whose father died of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, said:

“This film is released at a crucial time and will assist in highlighting to the world the continued threat to life by exposing men, women and children to asbestos.  The film shows children playing in the asbestos dump in India.

“In my view, it is vital that, as a first generation Indian, we stand up and stop the import of asbestos into India and stop exposing our families and friends to this deadly substance which kills, and indeed exposes us when we visit India.

“Film-makers should be applauded for having the bravery to make this film.”

Breathless will be shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London on Saturday 27th October 2018 from 1600.

The press are encouraged to attend and press passes can be obtained by contacting Harminder Bains on 0207 650 1166. 

Trailer for the movie.