The inside story of the infamous “Amazon Chernobyl” case, Crude is a real-life high stakes legal drama, set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film subverts the conventions of advocacy filmmaking, exploring a complicated situation from all angles while bringing an important story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus. The landmark case takes place in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, pitting 30,000 indigenous and colonial rainforest dwellers against the U.S. oil giant Chevron. The plaintiffs claim that Texaco—which merged with Chevron in 2001—spent three decades systematically contaminating one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, poisoning the water, air, and land.
Discussants: Prof. Douglass Cassel, Notre Dame Law; Prof. Olivier Morel, Romance Languages and Literatures and Film, Television and Theatre