Crude Review: The Real Price Of Oil
Imagine a beautiful jungle world set upon by an evil corporation whose only purpose is to profit from the rich minerals that lie beneath it. The company is so evil it does not care what destruction it leaves behind, it poisons and kills the wildlife around it, and it threatens the indigenous peoples very existence…
No, its not James Cameron’s pitch for the massively overrated Avatar, sadly it’s the story of somewhere much closer to home.
Highlighting a real life David and Goliath face off, John Berlinger’s Crude chronicles the legal battle that has been going on for more than fifteen years between the Amazonian tribesmen of Ecuador and the super rich oil giant Chevron.
Over the last fifty years the documentary shows how Chevron – formerly known as Texaco – poisoned rivers and drinking water, caused diseases to spread and brought the local tribes way of life to the brink of extinction. There are many scenes that Chevron should feel ashamed of, but rather than remorse what you continually witness is their ability to avoid culpability through spurious arguments dressed up by the eloquence of a well paid lawyer.
It is a shameful example of big business using it’s billions to manipulate the judicial system but it is this sense of injustice the film brilliantly portrays that really helps the viewer to understand Ecuador’s plight.
Over the last decade films like Crude have been slowly gaining favour with viewing audiences, but what this piece points out is that a story doesn’t always reach it’s deserved happy ending .
For all the carrot sticks these moral tales can get McDonalds to sell, there’s a million other stories of people starving and being starved. One can only hope cinema-goers care as much for the people of the world as they did for a bunch of overgrown alien smurfs who were suffering the same fate, and raise enough money to rid the world of one more injustice.