Death by Design

  • ACMI Federation Square, Flinders Street Melbourne Australia

Dir. Sue Williams | USA/China | 2016 | 73mins

In this penetrating investigative documentary, filmmaker Sue Williams uncovers the deadly environmental and health costs of the electronic devices we operate every day. In China, labour has been outsourced by major US companies looking to cut costs and exploit environmental loopholes. Back in the US, Williams visits overflowing landfills, erected by a throwaway culture where gadgets purposefully in-built with finite lifespans are insouciantly discarded by their users.

Left to decay over time, the toxins leak from the ground proving to have debilitating health effects on unwitting members of the nearby communities. Despite the devastation, Williams’ film is one of hope, documenting young activists who fight to hold electronics brands accountable for their actions and entrepreneurs who are working to develop more ethical and sustainable products for our future.

Both jaw-dropping and heartbreaking, Death by Design forces the viewer to reconsider their whole approach to technology
— Hannah Clugston, Aesthetica Magazine
This insightful and rousing documentary about our rampant consumption of technology opens the lid on the environmental and human catastrophe caused by technology – once watched you will never see an Apple product in the same way again.
— Ellen Dwyer, One Room With a View

PANEL DISCUSSION: iCrisis? Electronic obsolescence and what to do with our gadgets.

Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald

Founder and Manager Director Bright Sparks

Grant Musgrove

CEO Australian Council of Recycling

Will LeMessurier

Managing Director MRI e-waste specialists

This panel will be moderated by James Whitmore, Deputy Section Editor Energy + Environment at The Conversation.