“White Noise” is a 2022 absurdist comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach, adapted from the 1985 novel of the same name by Don DeLillo. The film stars Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, and Don Cheadle. Set in the 1980s, the story follows the life of an academic and his family as they go through trials and tribulations, beginning with an environmental disaster near their home. The film's central plot revolves around a catastrophic chemical spill caused by a train accident that releases a toxic black cloud over a small town, forcing its residents to evacuate.
The chillingly interesting fact is that in February 2023, about a year after the film was shot, an actual train accident occurred in East Palestine, Ohio, where the catastrophic train accident scene was filmed. The similarity of the location, course, and aftermath of the real disaster to that of the film is uncanny. The real accident even injured the extra acting in the film scene.
In "White Noise”, the train crash is a central plot point that sets in motion a series of events that threaten the lives of the Gladney family. Similarly, the Ohio train derailment led to widespread evacuations, environmental contamination, and concerns about the safety of transporting hazardous materials.
However, there are some important differences between the fictional train crash in “White Noise” and the real derailment in Ohio. The Ohio derailment had a significant environmental impact, releasing hazardous chemicals into the environment and damaging local ecosystems. In contrast, the train crash in White Noise causes only indirect environmental damage, as the toxic cloud released by the crash is caused by the derailment of a tanker of toxic materials.