Journey to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians, where communities are surrounded by experimental test sites and pesticides sprayed upwind of their neighborhoods. Poisoning Paradise details the ongoing struggle to advance bold new legislation governing the fate of their island home.
In an attempt to diversify an economy that was overly reliant on tourism, policymakers in both Hawaii and Washington, D.C. encouraged the world’s largest biotech companies to utilize Kauai’s favorable climate and fertile soil to test genetically engineered seeds and crops. Corporations including Syngenta, Pioneer DuPont, BASF, and Dow Agrosciences have since applied hundreds of tons of Restricted Use (RU) pesticides on thousands of acres across the Garden Island’s West Side, the traditional homeland of an indigenous and disenfranchised population.
Interviews with local residents, scientists, and healthcare professionals reveal the hardships and ecological dangers of intensive and continuous pesticide applications and the environmental injustice thrust upon people living in one of the most sacred, biologically unique and diverse locations on earth. Award-winning investigative journalist Paul Kolberstein describes Kauai as “one of the most toxic agricultural environments in all of American agriculture.”
As champions of a grassroots movement to make Kauai County Bill 2491 law, local activists battle political corruption, corporate bullying, and systematic concealment by the agrichemical industry.
Although Kauai’s plight might seem like a local issue, this debate is in fact raging around the world as country after country is becoming concerned about pesticides, the future of food, and sustainable farming practices.
*Expert Cast Members
Edited by DANNY MILLER & NOAH SHER
Cinematography by MAX FRAUCHIGER, MARIO FURLONI, WILLIAM MAHERAS, MIKE MAY, DANNY MILLER, BILL PARIS, JENNA ROSHER, TROY SMITH
Narrated by ALIKA ATAY and DEMETRIUS OLIVEIRA
Music by PINK FLOYD, KEN EMERSON, PETER KATER, JEFF RONA, MATTHEW SCHOENING, JAMES KIMO WEST, MARCO BELTRAMI and NEIL YOUNG
KAUAI GIRL PRODUCTIONS
NEW LEAF PRODUCTIONS, INC
Directed by KEELY SHAYE BROSNAN and TERESA TICO
Produced by TERESA TICO and KEELY SHAYE BROSNAN
Executive Producer PIERCE BROSNAN
Keely Shaye Brosnan
Keely Shaye Brosnan is an award-winning broadcast journalist turned award-winning documentary filmmaker. She has nurtured a diverse career covering a wide range of topics, from environmental journalism and animal advocacy to celebrity journalism and apprehending fugitives.
In 2016, Keely made her directorial debut with Poisoning Paradise, which opened at the Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu. Since then, Poisoning Paradise has garnered six awards and continues to screen at prestigious film festivals across the country.
Formerly an entertainment correspondent for NBC’s weekend edition of the “Today Show” and CBS’s “Entertainment Tonight,” Keely has interviewed a myriad of A-list celebrities. Previously, Keely was a correspondent on NBC’s “Unsolved Mysteries” and served as a correspondent for ABC’s “Good Morning America” and ABC’s Home Show which earned her two Genesis Awards, a Special Achievement Award at the Environmental Film Festival, and a nomination from the Environmental Media Association.
Keely hosted “Great Bears,” a series for the Outdoor Life Network as well as E! Coming Attractions and HBO’s “World Entertainment Report.” As a producer, she created and hosted “Home Green Home” for PBS, an eco-friendly home and garden “how-to” series. Keely was a contributor to Los Angeles Confidential Magazine and is currently completing her first book, Gourmet Gardener.
A world traveler, Keely’s interests have led her to report on everything from toxic waste and biodiversity to children’s issues and organic gardening. She regularly volunteers her time and talent to numerous environmental causes such as marine mammal and wetland protection, anti-nuclear, clean air and clean water campaigns, endangered species and environmental educational in the classroom for grades K-12.
The Jane Goodall Institute, Environmental Hall of Fame, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Environmental Media Association, Earth Communications Office, Heal the Bay, Women in Film, In Defense of Animals, Senator Barbara Boxer, Peace Over Violence, Organic Style Magazine and The Malibu Times have all honored Keely for her ongoing commitment to the environment.
Native to California, Keely resides in Malibu and Hawaii with her husband, Pierce Brosnan, their 20 year-old son Dylan, and 16 year-old son Paris.
Pierce Brosnan was born in County Meath, Ireland and moved to London at age 11. At age 20, he enrolled in drama school and while in London, performed in several West End stage productions including Franco Zeffirelli’s Fulimena and Tennessee Williams’ The Red Devil Battery Sign at the York Theater Royal. Brosnan relocated to Los Angeles in 1982 and immediately landed the role of private investigator Remington Steele on the popular ABC television series of the same name.
In April, Brosnan starred in AMC’s new dramatic series The Son, based on the Philipp Meyer novel of the same name about the rise and fall of a Texas oil family. The series was an immediate hit with audiences and AMC has picked it up for a second season. Most recently, Brosnan starred alongside Jeff Bridges and Kate Beckinsale in Marc Webb’s The Only Living Boy in New York. This fall, Brosnan stars with Jackie Chan in the action thriller The Foreigner for director Martin Campbell. The film is based on the book The Chinaman by Stephen Leather about a humble restaurant owner in London’s Chinatown who is forced to push his moral and physical boundaries to track down the group of rogue Irish terrorists responsible for the death of his beloved daughter. Brosnan also stars in the action thriller Final Score alongside Dave Bautista for director Scott Mann, and with Guy Pearce and Mini Driver in the thriller Spinning Man. This fall, Brosnan will film the sequel to the hit Universal film Mamma Mia.
Brosnan made his feature film debut in The Long Good Friday (1980). His film credits include Bruce Beresford’s Mr. Johnson (1990), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Goldeneye (1995), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), Mars Attacks (1996), Dante’s Peak (1997), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Sir Richard Attenborough’s Grey Owl (1999), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), The World Is Not Enough (1999) John Boorman’s The Tailor of Panama (2001), Die Another Day (2002), The Matador (2005) for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor Motion Picture – Drama, Seraphim Falls (2007), Ira Sachs’ Married Life (2007), Mamma Mia! (2008), Percy Jackson (2010), The Ghost Writer (2010), Remember Me (2010) and The Greatest (2010) Salvation Boulevard (2011) and I Don’t Know How She Does It opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Greg Kinnear (2011), The World’s End with Simon Pegg and Morgan Freeman (2013), Love is All You Need (2013), A Long Way Down (2014), Love Punch (2014) with Emma Thompson, The November Man (2015) for director Roger Donaldson, No Escape (2015) with Owen Wilson and I.T. (2016).
In addition to his work in front of the camera, Brosnan has long had a passion for the art of filmmaking. Having achieved international stardom as an actor, Brosnan expanded the range of his film work by launching his own production company, Irish DreamTime in 1996, along with producing partner Beau St. Clair.
Irish DreamTime has produced 11 films to date including I.T. (2016); The November Man (2014); Some Kind of Beautiful (2014); The Greatest (2010); Shattered (2007); The Matador (2005); Laws of Attraction (2004); Evelyn (2002); The Thomas Crown (1998); The Match (1999); and The Nephew (1998). The company’s first studio project, The Thomas Crown Affair, was a critical and box-office success and one of the best-loved romantic thrillers in years. Evelyn, directed by Bruce Beresford, opened to critical acclaim at the Toronto and Chicago Film Festivals and garnered rave reviews.
In 1996 Brosnan expanded the range of his film work by launching his own production company, Irish DreamTime along with producing partner Beau St. Clair. To date Irish DreamTime has produced The Nephew (1998), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), Evelyn (2002), Laws of Attraction (2004), The Matador (2005), Shattered (2007) and The Greatest (2010).
In addition to his stellar film career, Brosnan along with his wife Keely Shaye have been drawn into a passionate leadership role in environmental issues. They are actively involved with many causes and conservation organizations, particularly in support of marine mammal rights. The Jane Goodall Institute, Environmental Hall of Fame, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana, Environmental Media Association, Earth Communications Office, Heal the Bay, Women in Film, In Defense of Animals, Peace Over Violence, and The Malibu Times have all honored them for their ongoing commitment to the environment. Brosnan serves as Campaign Chairman for the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Teresa Tico is a Hawaii based attorney and film producer. She graduated from the University of California at San Diego summa cum laude, and from the University of San Diego School of Law. She is known for handling cases of first impression in the environmental sector of law and is nationally recognized for her work in the natural resources case, Pflueger v. Marvin, which resulted in the largest EPA fine against an individual polluter in U.S. history. In 2000, she turned her legal skills to film production, producing the environmental documentaries Learning To Sea, Going To Antarctica, Miss South Pacific and Fishing Pono, among others, to raise awareness about the cultural and environmental impacts of climate change and declining resources. Currently, she is in production with Producer/Director Keely Shaye Brosnan on a documentary film about the health and environmental impacts of pesticides, titled Poisoning Paradise.