Joe Berlinger

United States, Ecuador, United Kingdom 2009, 100 min.


Spoken language: English, Spanish

Subtitles: English

Festival year: 2010

Some call it the Chernobyl disaster of the Amazone: the many years of dumping waste oil in one of the world’s largest wildlife areas. Between 1964 and 1990 Texaco dumped billions of litres of toxic waste in the Amazone, leading to water, air and soil pollution in the area. Public health is affected correspondingly: the number of cancer cases has skyrocketed. The oil company, which is now part of Chevron, declines all responsibility, however. According to Chevron, the problems are caused entirely by the state oil company that took over oil extraction a few years ago. Thirty thousand Ecuadorians filed a collective lawsuit against Texaco in 1993, accusing it of systematically destroying and polluting their living environment. Director Joe Berlinger ('Brother's Keeper', 'Paradise Lost' and 'Metallica: Some Kind of Monster') followed this trial for more than three years in this award-winning documentary, which in spite of being well-balanced clearly reveals his sympathy for the film’s protagonist, lawyer Pablo Fajardo, who once worked in the oilfields himself.


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