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Crude

Dan Ashley , Pablo Fajardo , Joe Berlinger    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.98
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Product Description

The story of lawsuit by tens of thousands of Ecuadorans against Chevron over contamination of the Ecuadorean Amazon.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Movie the Oil Companies Don't Want You to See June 24 2010
Format:DVD
I consider myself a generally well-informed person, but I have to say that I had known little or nothing about the case of an American oil company being sued in South America for massive environmental pollution. When I heard the news, though, that the American oil company in question, Chevron, successfully lobbied a U.S. judge recently to turn over to the oil company 600 hours of footage from the making of this documentary, I knew I had to find out what it is that Chevron is trying to censor. I immediately bought this DVD on Amazon.

Having watched it a few times, I now understand. And so will you, if you should decide to do the same and purchase this excellent documentary.

Hats off to director Joe Berlinger and crew for following this case over a few years and putting together a testament to the truth that any oil company would be afraid to let see the light of day. "Crude" deserves all the awards and recognition that it has been getting, and more.

The story centers around the Texaco oil corporation and its drilling for oil in the pristine jungles of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador from the 1960s to the 1990s. Many of the native Ecuadoran people living there at the time Texaco first arrived had never seen a helicopter before, let alone known about the rich deposits of oil deep beneath their soil, but they learned quickly when they started seeing oil spills on their clear, clean rivers caused by the American oil company's drilling.

By the time Texaco was basically kicked out of Ecuador in the 1990s, the corporation had left behind in the Ecudoran forests hundreds of toxic waste pits, many of which were designed to drain polluted water into nearby rivers and streams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Sheila McVicar TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This video was quite uncomfortable to watch as greed versus human decency, needs, loss of human rights was told. Oil companies are having their stories told and it seems to ALL be ugly and for GREED. But, each story does have more than one side. Why do people have to be hurt so badly when oil companies win?
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent job on this documentary! Jan. 23 2010
By S. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It's hard for me to know what to say about what I saw in this film. I'm deeply ashamed that our lifestyle could cause such suffering and destruction in other countries but the concept is not new to me because I know about what Shell has done in Nigeria. There is a great deal of heartbreak and much that causes shame in this movie. At the same time, It's uplifting to see Pablo Fajardo, a humble man from a fiscally poor but morally wealthy family, take on one of the most complicated cases in history in true David versus Goliath style.

The Ecuadorian people tell their own story in their own words from their homes and their forest. At first glimpse, you might think that these people are poor but before Texaco contaminated their world, they had everything they needed to live a simple life abundant with gifts from nature.

Texaco was fined $27 Billion for destroying this Ecuadorian Rain Forest but they have said they will never pay it.

The scientific expert working on this case says that this could never happen in the United States but he is dead wrong. As Elizabeth Burns said, it has happened and it continues to happen every day.

I live on top of the Barnett Shale in Wise County in North Texas. I have a blog, Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS, where I document industry abuses such as burying the waste pits or simply abandoning them. Like Elizabeth Burns, I have dozens of videos and hundreds of pictures. Come see for yourself.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Bang your head against the wall, but apathy is worse" March 31 2010
By J. L LaRegina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
In the 2009 documentary CRUDE Steve Donziger, attorney for the people of Ecuador suing Chevron over dumping more than eighteen billion gallons of toxic waste into their rainforest, questions the chance of winning. While Mr. Donziger does not doubt Chevron is guilty, he wonders if the oil company's money and government connections are so great that justice is only for those who can afford it.

CRUDE places you in a ringside seat as the Ecuadorians and he make their case. Chevron officials and lawyers deny either causing the damage or its existence, reminding you of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN's Marty Feldman asking Gene Wilder, "What hump?"

It feels helpless watching Ecuadorian children die of cancer, but as CRUDE documents, grassroots organizing grows out of disease-causing hydrocarbons in the country's soil and water. The film ends with the litigation against Chevron far from over, but attracting the support of everyone from Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa to rainforest advocates Sting and Trudie Styler, the plaintiffs may have more than just faith and hope on their side. If nothing else, it beats going down without a fight.

See CRUDE.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chevron lies with straight faace March 2 2010
By Michael A. Scheurich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I am not amazed at all about Chevron-Toxico bold face lies. I worked at Chevron for 10 years from 1970 to 1980 as an environmental researcher in their labs. Their company representatives must spend days in front of a mirror practicing how to lie without blinking. The outside so-called independent labs which analyzed the water they dumped into the bay were actually owned by the oil companies and not independent as they claim. I traced one of the so-called independent labs through half a dozen counties and eventually found it was owned by Shell. BP oil also hides behind multiple subsidiaries. The EPA finally found the secret underground pipe which they illegally dumped their worse polluted water into the Bay around 1984 I believe. They monitor the Internet and will figure out who wrote this review. I only survived all these years by keeping my mouth shut. I think their philosophy is 'dead men tell no tale'. Another favorite philosophy is that cancer is caused by people's lifestyle which of course lets them off the hook when it comes to lawsuits. Chevron is one of the largest donors to the American Cancer society -- Another so-called unbiased agency. Not able to justify the high number of cases of cancer in non-smokers Chevron stooges pretending to be doctors blame it on second hand smoke. Of course crude is perfectly harmless.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Movie the Oil Companies Don't Want You to See June 23 2010
By Brian Covert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I consider myself a generally well-informed person, but I have to say that I had known little or nothing about the case of an American oil company being sued in South America for massive environmental pollution. When I heard the news, though, that the American oil company in question, Chevron, successfully lobbied a U.S. judge recently to turn over to the oil company 600 hours of footage from the making of this documentary, I knew I had to find out what it is that Chevron is trying to censor. I immediately bought this DVD on Amazon.

Having watched it a few times, I now understand. And so will you, if you should decide to do the same and purchase this excellent documentary.

Hats off to director Joe Berlinger and crew for following this case over a few years and putting together a testament to the truth that any oil company would be afraid to let see the light of day. "Crude" deserves all the awards and recognition that it has been getting, and more.

The story centers around the Texaco oil corporation and its drilling for oil in the pristine jungles of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador from the 1960s to the 1990s. Many of the native Ecuadoran people living there at the time Texaco first arrived had never seen a helicopter before, let alone known about the rich deposits of oil deep beneath their soil, but they learned quickly when they started seeing oil spills on their clear, clean rivers caused by the American oil company's drilling.

By the time Texaco was basically kicked out of Ecuador in the 1990s, the corporation had left behind in the Ecudoran forests hundreds of toxic waste pits, many of which were designed to drain polluted water into nearby rivers and streams. Many of those poisonous waste pits have remained open for years, despite the fact that desperately poor people in the Amazon forest region live near these waterways and depend on the rivers and streams to live.

Add a class-action lawsuit by indigenous Ecuadorans against Chevron (which bought Texaco in 2001), a young, aggressive Ecuadoran lawyer (Pablo Fajardo) whose brother was brutally murdered after he took up the case, a pushy and determined gringo lawyer from the United States (Steven Donziger) siding with the indigenous Amazonians, and judges and a new president of Ecuador who can't be bought off, and you have the makings of a classic Hollywood "David vs. Goliath" story.

But in this case, the story happens to be true. And it is that dirty truth that oil companies like Chevron want to keep from the public -- especially the American public.

Although the director makes it clear from the outset which side of the issue he stands on, he is to be commended for getting Chevron officials interviewed on the record. It makes the documentary that much more balanced and impressive. And if you've never seen a scientist or a lawyer for a multinational oil corporation look you in the eye and lie through their teeth about the toxic effects of petroleum drilling and dumping in the environment, then you're in for a real eye-opener.

For all its seriousness, the film does have its lighter moments too: One is when a Chevron lawyer, during one of the Chevron/Texaco waste site inspections in Ecuador ordered as part of the lawsuit, insists that petroleum waste becomes safe and non-toxic when it is released into nature -- and gets more than a few snickers from the local villagers whose lives with cancer attest otherwise. Then there is the good-natured bantering between the American lawyer and his Ecuadoran counterparts working on the lawsuit against Chevron, who somehow manage to keep from getting on each others' nerves long enough to fight a common battle for justice in the U.S. and Ecuadoran courts.

I always judge a documentary not only by its visual appeal but also by its audio appeal. "Crude" comes through well on that score too, with a soundtrack of beautiful South American (presumably Ecuadoran) music to help make an already great documentary that much better.

But the real star is the Amazon rainforest itself, still breathtaking to see even with all the environmental raping it has gone through on the part of Chevron/Texaco. The native Amazonian tribes are struggling to hold on to what little they have left in the "dead zones" of the Amazon rainforest where Chevron/Texaco once ruled supreme, and one cannot help but be filled with awe and respect for the strength these simple people show in seeking to stay alive in their traditional homelands without getting poisoned on a daily basis by oil and petroleum waste.

Knowledge is indeed power, and having watched this documentary I understand much more clearly what is happening, for example, with the British Petroleum oil spill that has already devastated much of the U.S. southern coastline. This kind of massive oil pollution and contamination is the future, folks, unless we arm ourselves with knowledge and truth and stop it.

We may not have the authority to set national government policy or be able to gain an audience with an oil company CEO, but what we *can* do as consumers is empower ourselves with knowledge and arm ourselves with truth -- because for all its sheer arrogance and bluster in this film, Chevron/Texaco and other corporate crooks like it don't stand a chance against informed, knowledgeable citizens. And that is one reason why Chevron still intends to get its grimy hands on those 600 hours of raw footage that shaped this movie, "Crude", by Joe Berlinger, despite the filmmaker's ongoing appeal for protection of freedom of the press and speech under the U.S. Constitution.

Buy this DVD -- today -- and make your own small but worthy investment in a future society that puts corporate polluters right where they belong: behind bars and on "corporate chain gangs" to clean up their own environmental catastrophes. Chevron/Texaco, for one, will not be happy that you purchased this film right here on (ahem) Amazon.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The oil spills in drilling operations in pristine rainforests exposed May 15 2010
By Guy Denutte - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie is about the oil spills in the Ecuadorian rainforest, affecting wildlife and 30.000 indigenous people. But it could easily have been filmed in Colombia (Uwa), in Nigeria (Ogoni), and in many other places. Big Oil always wants to make a fast buck, and therefore prefers drilling for oil in rainforests in the most economic way : the water contained in the crude oil is simply spilled into the rivers, without any preliminary treatment. The gas is burned, since this is considered to be "cheaper" than conducting it to an end user. The result is that the water, the soil and the air are contaminated, poisoning the people living in the area, and producing cancers on a massive scale.

We normally never hear of this damage. Activists are killed. Terence Freitas was killed when working for the Uwa people in Colombia. Thousands have been killed in Nigeria. Also in Ecuador, Wilson Fajardo was tortured and killed, but the military made a mistake. They really wanted to kill his brother, who was left alone afterwards. Pablo Fajardo is the hero of this movie. He wanted "to do something to change the world". Well, he certainly succeeded !

The first strategy of Texaco was preventing the lawsuit taking place in the US. They preferred a lawsuit in Ecuador, known for its corrupt legal system. Everything would certainly have worked out fine for Big Oil, wasn't it for Rafael Correa being elected president in 2007. Contrary to all former presidents, he visited the Cofán indigenous people. An independent expert was appointed and concluded that the total cost of the damage amounts to 27 billion dollars, as compensation for the environmental remediation, excess cancer deaths, impact on indigenous culture, and Texaco's "unjust enrichment" from its operation.

The final strategy of Big Oil was putting pressure on the US government to intervene in this case, but that is not working out with President Correa. The bad news is that the final verdict is still out. It could take another 10 years...

This is an important movie, and very actual indeed, now that BP's "Crude Politics" produced another Environmental Mega-Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, that will affect the north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond.

I had to refrain myself for throwing things at my TV set every time the "scientist" working at Chevron was being interviewed. I will limit myself to two outrageous claims on her part. First she related the skin diseases of the newborn babies not to the polluted water but to bacteria from the raw sewage (ignoring the *fact* that there simply are no sewers in the Amazon). Furthermore, she claimed that "crude in the environment can degrade very rapidly"... To this kind of "science", I can only think of quoting Bill Maher, the stand-up comedian: "The big oil companies must stop running ads telling us how much they're doing for the environment. We get it : you rape the earth, but you cuddle afterward. It's insulting..."
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