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MEMORIAM: Adam Yauch passes away

Adam Yauch, perhaps best known as a founding member of the hip hop trio the Beastie Boys, passed away today of cancer. Yauch also founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film production and distribution company. One of the films released theatrically by his company was Flow: For Love of Water.

The 2008 documentary, directed by Irena Salina and produced by Steven Starr, features Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, and other water and community activists. The film focuses on how private water companies – like Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Suez – prioritize commodification and profits over the right to water and sanitation.

In June 2008, the New York Post reported, “A top female rep for Nestlé pitched a fit at the Nantucket Film Festival, which Nestlé co-sponsored, during a screening of Flow – a documentary bashing Nestlé Waters as harming the environment. The flick, distributed by Brooklyn-born Yauch (best known as Beasties rapper MCA) and his Oscilloscope Pictures, probes growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh-water supply. …When Nestlé was mentioned in the movie, the shocked company rep jumped to her feet, spun on one heel and stamped out in full view of the producers. …But Yauch – known for his activism, including helping the Free Tibet movement – makes no apologies. He told Page Six the problem is that Nestlé is ‘promoting bottled water in general. It’s the bottles themselves, the amount of pollution they create and then disposing of them are problems. They put pretty pictures of springs and forests on the bottles, but in this movie they’re getting called out. I think it’s great. They lock down water as a commodity they can buy and sell. It’s terrifying.'”

We extend our condolences to his wife Dechen, his 14-year-old daughter Tenzin Losel, and his extended family and friends.