Friday, January 23, 2009

Film Documenting Chevron’s Toxic Legacy in Ecuador Gaining Momentum

Crude, the documentary at the Sundance film festival we blogged about earlier this week seems to be getting some huge momentum. Over the past week we've seen a ton of stories come across our computer about the film, the outpouring of celebrity support for the film and for the people who are suffering from Chevron's pollution. There just seems to be a ton of buzz around the film – the NY Times, Page 6, US Weekly, People, the Associated Press, FoxNews, and other news outlets all wrote about the film. And now that I've seen the film, we've can understand why. While the movie is remarkably even-handed in its portrayal of the issue, the film does the one thing Chevron has tried to stop more than anything else: it simply shows the facts. And even though the film goes to great lengths to be unbiased, it'll be incredibly difficult for anyone to walk away from a screening of the film feeling anything but disgust for Chevron.

Lucy Danziger, editor of Self Magazine, blogged about their magazine's sponsorship of a party honoring the film. An excerpt:

Here is why I was in Park City: to host a dinner in honor of Trudie Styler, who is championing the cause of a little known but disastrous oil spill in Ecuador that needs to be cleaned up. Chevron, the company at the center of the dispute, has not stepped up to take the lead. The spill occurred a generation ago, when Texaco was the dumper, but Chevron owns the former company and isn't willing to pay to clean up the mess.

Meanwhile, the people of Ecuador are getting sick, developing rare cancers at alarming rates, and the water supply is so tainted that Styler is trying to bring in rain-collecting systems and installing them throughout the villages in order to give the women, children and families an alternative to the tainted water supply. UNICEF first got her involved, and she not only visited the spill site and was in the center of the documentary Crude (it's directed by the talented Joe Berlinger and produced by Entendre films and Netflix), but she also has helped to get 60 schools built and offered educational resources to More than 700 children who, when she first visited the region, worked in toxic-waste dumps.

To read more, check out: