Netflix is aiming high on the goal of delivering high-quality complex films, and The Laundromat is no exception.
The new film is based on real events involving an insurance fraud tied to a series of offshore accounts all connected to a shifty law firm. And the story is confusing but ultimately infuriating once viewers realize what the wealthy can get away with.
In the film, the fraudulent scheme is discovered after a tragic accident. The event known as the Ethan Allen boat accident led to the events in the movie where Meryl Streep makes her way to Nevis to investigate the company.
But is the Ethan Allen boat accident from The Laundromat a real story? Here is what happened in real life and how it compares to the film.
Ethan Allen Boat Accident from The Laundromat: What Really Happened?
The New York Times explains that the Ethan Allen was a boat full of tourists, most of them just trying to enjoy their retirement when tragedy struck, and what was meant to be a relaxing vacation would leave a traumatic mark on many families forever.
What makes it even worse is that the boat which was covered in thick glass crashed mere feet from the shore of Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, so safety should have been only minutes away.
Of the 49 people just trying to enjoy a relaxing vacation in New York, 21 lost their lives in a moment, and many more were injured. So what caused this trip to go horribly wrong?
It’s difficult to determine exactly. Still, several people unfortunate enough to see what happened explained that no one even had a chance to grab the lifesaving gear that might have saved them.
The speed with which the boat flipped over makes one wonder if they were riding behind a bigger boat whose waves were too strong for the small vessel. As if the accident wasn’t heartbreaking enough, due to disability and old age, many of the passengers could not swim, so they didn’t have a chance to save themselves anyway.
So, where are the people who experienced this moment now?
According to Post Star, One survivor Margie Kidon remembers the moment the boat began to sink with startling clarity. She said all she could think was, “This is not happening.”
That one moment would change the landscape of the boating industry in New York forever as some people believed an investigation was necessary to decide who was responsible.
And the investigation that would follow would change the laws forever to keep future tourists safe.
It’s interesting the things one can think about when fighting for his or her life, and in Kidon’s case, all she could think about was man’s best friend, her dog. She knew her furry pal needed her alive. And that thought drove her forward.
Most of the survivors are living in homes for the elderly, or have passed on from old age or other causes. As for the people who rescued those they could, the voices of the ones they could not still cry out to them even after such a long time has passed.
As seen from the film, director Steven Soderbergh does not shy away from the details of what really transpired. Meryl Streep and James Cromwell’s characters find themselves in a terrifying situation as the boat completely flips over drowning many — including the character played by Cromwell.
This leaves the boating company terrified when they realize their insurance company is fake.
So, as much as the film leans on satire, this tragic depiction is quite accurate.
The Laundromat is now streaming on Netflix.