Documentaries are usually something I avoid. Seriously, I'm usually angry and hopeless enough without being proven right. But, I made an exception and went to see The Big Fix. (Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg_fpr6XBFM&feature=colike )
Blurb: "The scathing documentary 'The Big Fix' investigates questions of corporate negligence and political corruption surrounding last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its lingering aftereffects on the Gulf Coast." Yup. Pretty much sums it up.
Did I cry through the whole thing? Yup. Was I disgusted and despairing? Oh heck yah. I'd seen the couple who made this film before, and hearing them speak was very enlightening and uplifting. Josh and Rebecca Harrell Tickell (They made the documentary "Fuel") are two seriously cool people. This is, I am sure, not a film they wanted to have to make. It can't be in wide release soon enough. The truths that are exposed are so important to get out there.
At the risk of blowing any surprises, here goes. Think the oil was stopped? Wrong. Still leaking. Think they stopped using Corexit because it's COMPLETELY toxic and forbidden by the EPA? Wrong. Think they aren't STILL using it to hide the still-leaking thing? Wrong. Think the seafood from the Gulf is OK to eat, that the water is OK to swim in? Need I answer that?
A cool part of the screening was that a couple from the area affected, Kevin and Margaret Curole, came in from Louisiana on their own dime to speak to us. Kevin said the shrimp were coming up without eyes, with deformed tails... Margaret said (and this really got me) that the mom dolphins are bringing their babies to the docks, carrying them in on their beaks, as if to say, "Help, we don't know what else to do." I take it even further in my brain that the moms are saying to us, "Look what you did, look what you did to my baby." Miscarried dolphins have washed up in mass numbers. It breaks my heart. Margaret thinks her son, who went in early to spray Corexit, will not outlive her. Corexit is a known toxin and they are STILL carting it in and spraying it and dumping it in the Gulf under the cover of night to hide the oil stuff still flowing.
Documentaries can either inspire you or make you want to slit your wrists. I asked a friend on the way in who had seen the first showing. She said, "Oh wrist-slitting for sure." The film was excellent; the knowledge and information was horrid. Josh and Rebecca - inspiring. I know what I have to do now. I know why I am moving back to my home town. And I'll do what I have to do. When I need strength I will think of Josh and Rebecca and Margaret and Kevin.
What can YOU do? See this movie the minute it's near you. Spread the word. If the movie isn't going to be near you any time soon, educate yourself about what is still happening down there, how screwed up the ecosystem is and will be for awhile. Talk about it. Ask questions. Make other people aware.
All this Occupy stuff around... we got lots more to talk about for sure. It's all tied together. Thanks for reading.