Directed by Joe Berlinger
Screened at (26th January 2010)
At the beginning of the film, a spokesperson for the World Development
Movement talked a little about their work and put information on every
A few people in the Amazon jungle in Equador fight against a gigantic
oil company. Sounds like a modern-day biblical story of David against
Goliath? In a way it is. The infamous story of Texcon (merged with Chevron
in 2001) polluting and causing damage to the environment and the people
living there, versus a handful of people who try and fight the lawsuit
through – that is what this film is about. But it is so much more.
It is about indigenous cultures that are slowly dying out, about how a
few people can change a lot. It is about how afraid even the biggest companies
are of negative press (see McDonalds in the McLibel film) and how unafraid
individuals can be when they are determined to face the almost impossible
task like bringing a company like Chevron before court.
In this gripping real-life drama/documentary, Joe Berlinger and his team
provide in depth information about the case and let both sides have their
say although obviously they make it very clear whose side they are. The
film keeps a breathless flow of events that happened – from Equador
to New York, from winning an award in the USA, it goes back to a small
flat where one of the main lawyers live in Equador. You see the difference
between the rich and the poor, the catastrophic impact that oil pollution
had on people’s health, and the arrogance and ignorance of Chevron
claiming it is all fabrication, and that the people only want to fill
their own pockets with damages payments.
The 'Amazon Cheronbyl' case as it is also called gets more momentum and
worldwide attention after they get a story in Vanity Fair and Trudie Styler
(Sting’s wife) gets involved and adds a bit of glamour to the whole
The film is shown in Spanish with English subtitles or - when someone
speaks a traditional 'Native' language - there is an interpreter there,
who interprets it into Spanish and English.
A must see film for everyone environmentally conscious and everyone else!