Crude – Movie Review
One of the largest and most controversial legal cases on the planet. An inside look at the infamous $27 billion “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 as it examines a complicated situation from all angles while bringing an important story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.
Crude is a well-meaning documentary talking about the abuses of Texaco who morphed into Chevron, in Ecuador. To a certain extent, it’s an alarming movie and two of the protagonists have actually won awards for their activism. The problem about it is it makes you really irritated for every do-gooder everywhere because the whole point is that number one, whatyou have to establish there is in fact a cancer corridor and that the epidemic if one exists is a result of peroleum refining and that Texaco’s blatant disregard to people’s health — that Texaco actually did it, as opposed to somebody else. It doesn’t really establish any of those facts, so you have people sort of saying “he said/she said”, without any clear definition, especially given the fact that there is a legal case involved. — Look do I think Chevron did it? Yeah. But they also point out that most of the pollution was done by the Ecuadorian company that took over from Texaco, and they have to differentiate between the two. So, what should be a really damning documentary turns out to be kind of a mish-mash of liberal belief without any documentation or any clear documentation, which is really a shame because I don’t like the bad guys either, but if you’re talking about law, you have to be able to prove your case, and I think the documentary lamentably does not.