Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2001
Country: United States
Run Time: 98 minutes

Better dying through chemistry? Vinyl, that flexible, resilient plastic-polycarbonate that we all take for granted, came to questioning attention of filmmaker and environmental activist Judith Helfand when she found that her parents were insulating their Long Island home with it. Helfand asked the questions that few consumers have: what exactly is this ubiquitous stuff? And what are the medical side effects of its production and distribution? Vinyl is used not only to make cheap, durable siding, but also flooring, toys, credit cards, I-V bags, water dispensers, you name it. It is virtually impossible to go through a day in modern society with a close encounter with vinyl. Taking a personal and slyly-comic approach, mixing animation and live action, directors Helfand and Daniel Gold visit vinyl factories in America and Europe, linking unlikely stories and true-life characters across continents. And along the way the filmmakers uncover some very disturbing data about vinyl manufacturing and disposal, especially its effects on the atmosphere, food chain and human physiology. Groundwater contamination by vinyl by-products has driven residents from their homes in Lake Charles, Louisiana, while a Venice vinyl company stands to be indicted for manslaughter due to their employees' exposure to hazardous substances. Don't be surprised if BLUE VINYL gives you the vinyl blues.

Daniel B. Gold, Judith Helfand

Daniel B. Gold, Judith Helfand, Julia D. Parker

Daniel B. Gold

Sari Gilman

Film Contact
Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today