Meet the Town
DAVID VS. GOLIATH
What do you do when the company you work for, and live near, is making you sick? Company Town is a groundbreaking investigative documentary that tells the story of a modern day David vs. Goliath.
Filmed nearly four years, following one man’s journey to save his town. He’s up against one of the nation’s largest paper mill and chemical plants, Georgia-Pacific, owned by billionaire brothers Charles Koch and David Koch of Koch Industries, a company neighbors worked their entire lives for making products like, Angel Soft, Brawny Paper Towels, Quilted Northern, and Dixie paper cups.
He galvanizes the town, revealing untold stories of cancer and illness.
A Whistleblower bravely steps forward shedding light on Georgia-Pacific’s egregious business practices.
A rare look inside one hidden American town, where the company rules and the government’s negligence pushes them to stand up and fight for justice.
Crossett, Arkansas represents all towns across America polluted by big business.
DAVID BOUIE, PASTOR AND COMMUNITY LEADER
David Bouie is a Pastor and the pioneer in his community and has lived in Crossett, Arkansas for 30 years. Residents in 11 out 15 homes on his street, Penn Road, have died of cancer. Mr. Bouie worked at Georgia-Pacific for ten years. He uses his breathing machine four times a day and he fears for his health and has worked the last four years to bring attention to the people suffering in his community.
“How many people have to die in Crossett, AR in order to have one job?”
GEORGIA-PACIFIC, OWNED BY KOCH INDUSTRIES
Georgia-Pacific is the paper mill and chemical company in Crossett, Arkansas. This
company dumps 45 million gallons of wastewater into the Ouachita River every day. They emit toxic chemicals like, formaldehyde, a human carcinogen, hydrogen sulfide, and other harmful chemicals as a result of the paper making process. According to our experts in the film, these emissions affect the air, land, and water, and neighbors report high incidences of cancer.
BARBARA BOUIE, WIFE OF DAVID BOUIE, LIFE-LONG CROSSETT RESIDENT
Mrs. Bouie grew up in Crossett and has lived there all her life. She worked for Georgia-Pacific for 25 years in the tissue paper facility. Her sister was killed in the tissue paper machine while working at Georgia-Pacific. Her other sister worked for the company for years and recently died of cancer. Mrs. Bouie is a pastor’s wife, and represents the fabric of this company town.
“When you get word that a neighbor is sick, you hope you don’t hear the big C word, but that usually ended up being the case.”
HAZEL PARKER, CROSSETT RESIDENT / FORMER GEORGIA-PACIFIC EMPLOYEE
Hazel Parker has lived in Crossett for 51 years. Her mother had cancer, her sister had cancer, and her father had prostate cancer. Her father died in 2010, her mother in 2006, and her sister in 2001.
“We matter. Our family is important to us.”
JESSIE JOHNSON, CROSSETT RESIDENT / FORMER GEORGIA-PACIFIC EMPLOYEE
Jessie grew up in Crossett and worked at the mill while she was pregnant. Her son was born with a heart disease and had open-heart surgery at just five days old. She’s lost many family and friends to cancer.
“I just had an aunt die this month from cancer. My dad died of cancer. Two dear friends who died of cancer that worked at GP. Three uncles who died and my mother-in-law who died of cancer this month.”
SIMONE SMITH, CROSSETT RESIDENT
Simone Smith was born and raised in Crossett, Arkansas and was diagnosed with cancer at 9 years old. She had her ovary removed when her doctor found a 17cm mass in her stomach.
“I hear a lot of dump trucks that come around where I live... sometimes the dump trucks come early in the morning... and sometimes late at night.”
JANIS CARTER, CROSSETT RESIDENT
Janis grew up in Crossett married her husband Jim Carter and they fulfilled their dreams of owning a truck shop. The pollution from Georgia-Pacific slowly deteriorated their business and ultimately destroyed their dreams.
“We’ve got a problem in the area. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know you’ve got a problem in the area. You can’t sweep it under the rug because we live in it every day.”
LEONA EDWARDS, CROSSETT RESIDENT
Leona has been a resident of Crossett for 40 years. Her home is near the paper mill and a polluted stream, locals call “stink creek” that runs right behind her home. Years ago, the local agency came to her home after she filed a complaint about “stink creek,” and she asked the government representative to sample the polluted stream and he said, “I ain't going back there, that stuff will kill you.”
“We had some friends that worked at GP and in the middle of the night when they would let out the bad stuff, they knew it would come behind our house. They would call us and let us know so we would close off everything...”
LEROY PATTON, CROSSETT RESIDENT
Mr. Patton lives on Lawrence Road, one-quarter mile from the mill, in his family home passed down by three generations. He worked at the mill several years ago. His mother and father died of stomach cancer and he has health issues with his stomach. Neighbors on his street have died of cancer and he’s the only one who’s survived.
“We stopped drinking the water because it had a foul taste to it and smelled bad and would give you a rash if you bathed in it. Got worse and worse over the years.”
JOHN MOUNT, CROSSETT HISTORIAN
John Mount is a history buff who runs the Crossett Historical Society and provides a greater context of the history of the paper mill. Mount is a fair voice and has lived in Crossett for 36 years.
“When Georgia-Pacific announced they were selling to Koch Industries people said... Oh no we’re in trouble now... Koch’s got a reputation.”
WHISTLEBLOWER, FORMER GEORGIA-PACIFIC CONTRACTOR