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Trevor J. Roling,
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. It killed 11 workers and caused the worst oil spill in American history. The explosion still haunts the lives of those most intimately affected, though the story has long ago faded from the front page. At once a fascinating corporate thriller, a heartbreaking human drama and a peek inside the walls of the secretive oil industry, "The Great Invisible" is the first documentary feature to go beyond the media coverage to examine the crisis in depth through the eyes of oil executives, survivors and Gulf Coast residents who experienced it first-hand and then were left to pick up the pieces while the world moved on.Written by
A Stunning Film on the Impact that BP Oil Spill has had on the Gulf Coast
The Great Invisible was enthusiastically received at its World Premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. This film is a powerful indictment of the corporate greed and corruption of BP, Transocean and Halliburton. If "Corporations are People" (as we have been told), than why aren't these corporations in prison? While this event made headlines in 2010, it has quickly receded from public consciousness (much as Hurricane Katrina in the same region did after 2005). This beautifully-filmed, eloquent presentation puts human faces on this environmental disaster. While it provides some political context, The Great Invisible mainly focuses on the human stories of the families of the oil rig workers who were killed and the local fishermen who lost their livelihoods. It shows the continuing impact that this event is still having and deconstructs the myth (presented in BP TV commercials) that the Gulf coast has now completely recovered.
BP and the other companies have provided some compensation, but they have not come close to repairing the massive environmental and human damage that their obscene negligence has inflicted on the Gulf coast. This film is a beautiful tribute to all those that have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of this disaster.
Some of the best contrasts are drawn from the scenes where we see oil executives sitting around fancy hotels drinking whiskey and smoking cigars while they complain about government regulation and the other barriers their industry faces. Then the film contrasts this with the injured oil workers and struggling fisherman who have had their lives devastated as a result of the executives careless negligence. The contrast is striking.
This film needs to be widely viewed by many Americans around the country for whom this tragedy has been nearly forgotten. I hope that film is widely distributed as a part of a process of beginning to hold the corporate robber barons to account. Right now, as the title suggests the long-term impact of the oil spill has become invisible. Perhaps, this film will help lift that cloak of invisibility.
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