U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern Hosts Screening
Amazon Defense Coalition
26 March 2009 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karen Hinton at +1.703.798.3109
Washington, DC – The acclaimed film Crude, a compelling independent documentary about the epic legal battle between indigenous tribes and oil giant Chevron over massive oil contamination in Ecuador's rainforest, will have its D.C. premiere on Capitol Hill March 31st. A second, evening screening of the film will be held at the Motion Picture Association of America. The film chronicles the struggle by the indigenous people of the area to hold Chevron accountable for one of the world's worst but least-known oil-related environmental disasters, dubbed the "Amazon Chernobyl" by Newsweek. U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, who spent three days touring the area last year with his congressional staff, is hosting the premiere, which will include an appearance by director and producer Joe Berlinger (Metallica, Brother's Keeper, Paradise Lost). The film features filmmaker and human rights advocate Trudie Styler and her husband Sting, who have provided humanitarian relief to victims through the Rainforest Foundation. Berlinger and his team spent almost three years shooting in the rainforest. At stake in the case is the survival of indigenous groups, health risks for thousands of people, and a potential $27 billion judgment – the highest amount ever for an environmental case.
Also attending the Capitol Hill screening will be two attorneys representing the Ecuadorian plaintiffs, Pablo Fajardo and Steven Donziger. Fajardo and Luis Yanza, president of the Amazon Defense Coalition, won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Award last year, considered the "Nobel" award for the environment, for their efforts to cleanup the contamination.
Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Crude received high praise from film critics. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called it "a forceful, often infuriating story about Big Oil and little people." It was independently produced by Berlinger, Netflix, Radical Media, and Entendre.