Coming to DVD and VOD next Tuesday, June 19: THE BIG FIX
Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell’s indictment of Big Oil in the face of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster made its world premiere at Cannes last year. It went on to screen, fittingly, as the opening night film at the New Orleans Film Festival, as well as at Washington DC’s Environmental Film Festival, LA’s WorldFest, and Turin’s Italian Environmental Film Festival, among others. In addition, it has had limited theatrical runs in NYC and LA.
On April 22, 2010, an accident at the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig resulted in an environmental catastrophe – five continuous months of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, devastating and perhaps irreparably damaging the marine life and the industry that depends on it. The Tickells use this tragic incident to review and expose the troublesome track record of the multinational oil company BP, putting forth a damning argument that the state of Louisiana long ago became little more than an oil colony of the US, the sacrificial victim of corporate greed and power that has put profit above concern for marine or human life. But the filmmakers don’t stop at the Bayou State – they trace a web of corruption that encompasses the highest levels of government, powerful corporate lobbies, the destructive drive toward deregulation, and the subsequent crash of the economy – and this is where the film loses its way. It has huge aspirations, but trying to make all of these connections effectively fit together in one film never completely works, and the doc ends up both losing a sense of focus and becoming overwhelmingly bleak. Still, other aspects do succeed, especially the uncovering of BP’s continued use of harmful dispersants they pledged to discontinue, and the impact these chemicals have had not only on the Louisianan residents, but on Harrell Tickell herself. As a call to arms, the film should enrage viewers, and motivate them to ask important questions about the ability of Big Oil to get away with disastrous practices and how they can instead be held accountable.