DIRTY ENERGY--The Deepwater Horizon Disaster: firsthand stories from the Louisiana Bayou and you'll understand why -- along with a lot of other disturbing answers to questions asked by the folk who live in (and earn their living from) the Louisiana Bayou area most affected by the oil spill. Directed and co-edited, -shot and -produced by filmmaker Bryan D. Hopkins (shown at right), the documentary puts us up-close and personal with some of the people who suffered most from the spill, and then connects the dots to help us understand what happened afterward, who was responsible and what the results have been.
As the residents and workers in the area make clear, even Hurricane Katrina was not as long-term devastating as the BP oil spill. "It's the first time we've had to depend on someone else to clean up the mess," notes one. And, as we see, they didn't really clean it up; instead they used toxic dispersants to help cover it up.
The people we see and hear do not rant and scream at us; they are mostly just quietly angry and disappointed in our government. But the movie should make viewers extremely angry. Dirty Energy is one of the most anger-making of documentaries because it gets to the heart of what is going on between government and corporate power and money -- and then shows you what this is doing to working folk from a viewpoint that you will find very difficult not to share.
Normally, I am so pressed for time, with so many further films to cover that I can't view any of the usual "extras" that appear on most DVDs. This time, I simply had to watch them, and they proved more than worthwhile. In addition to the trailer for the documentary, look for a 19-minute Three years after the spill short that gives you an update on the people and events in the Bayou area, plus a six-minute In-Depth looks at Gulf Shrimp that should put you off seafood for a long while.
Cinema Libre Studio. With a running time of just 94 minutes (but don't forget those "Special Features"), this is a couple of hours very well spent.