Based on a True Story


A film by Debora Souza Silva

The 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” seemed like a successful David versus Goliath story. A single mom of three took on PG&E for contaminating drinking water in Hinkley, California, and came out victorious, suing and winning $333 million from the giant utility company. But whatever became of the tiny town?

For the roughly 600 residents who received part of that payout, the ending wasn’t all happy. Residents who lived there in the ‘90s, such as Roberta Walker, say they suffer from residual health problems. And while they can’t disclose how much money they received from the lawsuit, they say it wasn’t enough to keep them afloat for long. Now, 21 years after the lawsuit, it seems the same public health hazard continues to affect the welfare of Hinkley residents.

This Glassbreaker Films short doc was produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting. It is part of the series "The Aftermath." To view the full series, please visit:


Director/Producer: Débora Silva
Second Camera: Olivia Merrion
Audio Post Production: David Ritsher and Rachel de Leon
Color Correction: David Ritsher
Coordinating Producer: Rachel de Leon
Senior Producer: Aubrey Aden-Buie
Intern: Julia Katter
Executive Producer: Amanda Pike
Editor in Chief: Amy Pyle