HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Crude Drill baby drill versus Amazon Chernobyl
Year: 2009
Director: Joe Berlinger
Stars: Trudie Styler, Sting
Genre: DocumentaryBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 1 vote)
Review: Screening at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival

A documentary or any feature film, like a good dessert, needs good texture. Some docs offer light delicate flavors, while others serve up crisp tawdry offerings but Crude, the latest feature documentary from director Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) brings a feel so viscous its some wonder that the film and the emotions within it don’t just ooze into the theater.

And why wouldn’t the film be viscous with center of the film swirling around a legal case about the black gold being pumped out of the jungles of Ecuador. Some have called the case the “Amazon Chernobyl” but whatever the name, Berlinger delves head first into this the David versus Goliath story that circles around one of the longest and most controversial legal (not to mention environmental and human rights) cases ever.

Crude aptly gives a balanced view of the various sides involved in the case which pits plaintiffs (30,000 indigenous and colonial rainforest dwellers) versus U.S. oil giant Chevron. The plaintiffs claim that Texaco – which later merged with Chevron – systemically contaminated an area the size of Rhode Island over a period of three decades. The plaintiffs allege that the contamination has led to numerous birth defects, increased rates of cancer leukemia, not to mention deaths.

Shot in cinéma vérité style Crude brings together various elements that one might not expect from a single documentary including: high stakes legal motions, backroom legal maneuvering, global politics, environmental causes, social justice, media frenzies, celebrity activism, multinational corporate power, and disappearing culture.

With so many layers, the film could have easily been bogged down (like the over 10 year still on going trial) but Berlinger keeps much of the film out of the courtrooms and in and around the alleged contamination sites where both the judge and attorneys for both sides trudge through the sludge and jungle to the various inspection sites. Crude deftly moves from the jungle to health clinics to the celebrity scene where rainforest advocates Trudie Styler and Sting helped bring attention to the case.

Crude come off like a war documentary shot in the trenches but instead of offering a dry, matter-of-fact 60 Minutes style Berlinger, makes the film personal. Looking at the smaller picture includes heartbreaking scenes with local ingenious people who have suffered through various illnesses, tragedies and deaths. But the doc also captures the lawyers and scientists and their opinions not to mention their polarized philosophies. Berlinger doesn’t set out to take sides but it’s easy to tell from the various on-screen quotes about who offers sincerity versus others who “hang themselves” with their own words.

Although Crude could have delved deeper in the minutiae, the 101 running time severs as a reminder about not only how powerful film making can be but how important and informative the subject can be as well.

Reviewer: Keith Rockmael

 

This review has been viewed 3377 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: