Director: Susan Saladoff
Hot Coffee is a documentary about lawsuits fired by citizens against giant corporate and its impact on the United States judicial system. The film is separated into four cases with some focus on the politics behind these issues and how it is evolving in the American legal system. The film starts from the most famous case in the states which is the “McDonald’s Coffee Case”. It’s the famous case where the plaintiff complained that the coffee was too hot after she spelled it on herself my mistake. She won the case after the jury awarded her 2.86 million dollars. The film is not (as the title hints) just about that case, it just starts with it, and then it goes into other less-famous cases. The film also discusses the political game behind these lawsuits and how it is being played by the big corporate with the help of politicians.
The film in general is entertaining but as many other documentaries is very one-sided and you can feel the film-maker’s propaganda behind the film. I’m not saying that everything said in the film was correct (or not, for that matter) but if you truly believe that something is wrong then you should present it as is and let the viewers make up their minds. Some of the cases presented in the film would make you feel really sad for them and believe in them, others would make you stand up for the corporate and support them. In any case, the film will shed the light on this area of the American legal system and you would enjoy (at least) most parts of the film.