Dirty Laundry, a documentary produced by WKU graduates Bryan Lemon and Conor Lewis that has been presented at 10 international and regional film festivals, will have its Bowling Green premiere at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at WKU’s Van Meter Hall. Admission is free.
Dirty Laundry follows Lewis and his cousin Zack Johnson who are driven by questions concerning their grandmother’s death from a rare form of cancer and set off across country on bicycles to uncover the truth about mesothelioma -- a disease they had only known as a late-night TV commercial until it killed their grandmother.
After graduating in 2012 from WKU’s Art Department, Lewis began his career in digital media at an agency in St. Louis, Missouri. Lewis grew up in St. Louis, where he resides today with his wife, Molly, and his dog, George. He is producing and directing multiple shorts, a feature length narrative and spending time at his other “full time job” as a painter and conceptual artist.
Lemon, a 2012 graduate of WKU’s photojournalism program, is assistant university photographer for WKU Public Affairs. His commercial and editorial work has been featured in a variety of publications from Lonely Planet to The New York Times. His larger scale projects have enabled him to pursue local narratives for business and nonprofits that benefit the community in which he lives. He and his wife, Karissa, live in Bowling Green.
About Dirty Laundry: Why did a 90-year old grandmother and housewife, from a small suburban town in Illinois, die from a rare form of cancer that has only one cause: exposure to asbestos dust? Her grandsons, cousins Conor Lewis and Zack Johnson, set out on a cross country bike ride with a camera crew and a mission: to gather information on the death sentence disease known as mesothelioma, their grandmother’s cause of death. From California to New York, they interview surviving family members, doctors, activists and members of communities still living with active, toxic asbestos sites. The documentary reveals the stark reality of corporate dissembling and apparent disregard for lives lost, and lives still being placed at risk, from the continued manufacture and use of asbestos, the creation of open asbestos waste sites, and the reckless excavation of contaminated ground.
The film will be available for digital rental, purchase and streaming in 2019. For information, visit https://asbestos.movie/