There are certain documentaries that take your breath away - some because of the beauty of the natural phenomena they share, others because of the horror of war as depicted in photographs and videos with running commentary from the fields where war is happening - both abroad and at home, as in watching the films of 9/11 or the Boston Marathon explosions. A well-made documentary should jolt us to action: BEYOND POLLUTION does just that.
This masterfully constructed and documented film by Barker White places the heinous action of BP oil company in our faces. It is not pretty nor is it sensationalized. This is excellent reportage of the tragedy of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill three years ago in April of 2010. The images of the explosion of the oil rig are not unlike the films we have seen of the atomic bomb explosions and the aftermath of that disaster is almost equal - and continues to decimate the peoples in the states touching the Gulf of Mexico.
But very, very wisely Barker White does not solely focus his attention on the BP spill of 2010. He instead takes us back in history to recap our growing dependency on oil and how that dependency has infiltrated the way our government functions, the way our nation is viewed throughout the world, and the history of the incompetency in the BP company revealed as the hundreds of spills and explosions and deaths and pollution of the atmosphere as well as the ground level and the below the sea level of our planet are recreated: these are all ignored by BP and indeed our government still contracts with these ruthless people.
The film is shocking, terrifying, and makes the level of anger rise and peak. Dean Cain provides a very professional narration of the film, but the many `stars' of the film are the survivors who struggle daily with a problem that just will not get fixed. Everyone who has concerns about our environment should watch this film and spread the word that this is a work of profound importance. April 13
News Junkies will learn little new here, but viewing weeks and months of blaring headlines in a compressed format adds to the jolting impact of this tragedy. The film traces the BP disaster from the initial explosion to the current state of the Gulf with commentary by national politicians, local politicians, local affected citizens, scientists, and news reporters. The viewer is even taken back to the days of Reagan, the Bushes, and the Exxon Valdez to see how a lax system evolved to allow such an event to happen.
Mercifully there are few scenes of dead or dying oil soaked animals, scenes that are too painful to watch. The high point of the film for me is the segment about following the money. At this juncture it all comes together, and the involvement of one major player, a prominent friend and contributor of the current White House, who has much to gain by suppressing facts about the real impact of the massive oil spill is quite the revelation.
If you can stomach the streaming lies of BP spokespeople and oily politicians, Beyond Pollution is worth your time.
on June 19, 2013
I knew the extent of the oil spill but this film has reminded me of how awful these companies are. They simply don't care about their environment. Everything is in the now with no concern for the future.
on August 2, 2013
Somehow, many people still don't know the whole truth behind one of the worst ecological disasters of the century. It doesn't help that BP and the other major conglomerates involved in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill have a vested interest in avoiding responsibility, and are not above spouting outright lies to do so.
Beyond Pollution cuts through all the oil companies' rhetoric to reveal the underlying corruption and greed that enabled this catastrophe in the first place. It also reveals BP's systematic campaign to obscure the truth.
Interviewees include residents of the Gulf coast as well as ecologists - the interviews provide a grim reminder of the human cost of the disaster as well as the environmental impact. So many lives, human and animal, have been lost in this disaster, yet BP comes across as completely indifferent. Their refusal to admit the truth in the face of overwhelming evidence comes off as callous to say the very least. Thankfully Beyond Pollution exposes how BP and other corporations shamelessly wage war against the public - though it of course will leave you wondering when things will change.
on August 16, 2015
BP is a horrible company, but why do we also not blame the government that allows them to be a horrible company.
on July 30, 2013
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico remains one of the worst ecological disasters of our time and, as it was when it first occurred, BP and many other companies attached to them in the oil spill are still spewing out misinformation and downright lies to the community at large.
Beyond Pollution details the corruption, greed and campaign of lies in a way that hasn't been seen before. With in-depth interviews and candid comments from residents of the Gulf to experts on wildlife and ecology, Beyond Pollution paints a picture of a company obsessed with profit at all costs that has no regard for life, human or otherwise.
In a country where lies are the norm the lies spewing from this corporate giant are still surprising. From top to bottom and coast to coast BP has engaged in a systemized and complete web of corruption with no regard to the future consequence and for the truth.
I was in charge this film would be required viewing for anyone who still believes that things are `OK' in this world of ours. Beyond Pollution is a scary look into the way that oil companies, and many others, operate and makes me terrified for the world that we are leaving to our children.
Boycott BP is an easy headline to write. That is how I feel after watching Beyond Pollution. However, there is a deeper more positive message at the end of this distressing documentary about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of taking the easy path, simply pointing out all the bad things that happened, the director chose to speak directly to younger viewers - get involved to avoid making the same mistakes the baby boomer generation has made.
Beyond Pollution is very similar to a documentary about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Oil on Ice. They make perfect companion pieces in the classroom. In fact Beyond Pollution frequently points out that the same mistakes were made in the Gulf of Mexico as were made in Alaska. It is so sad to see that we haven't learned anything in over twenty years. (Oil On Ice (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge))
This film is perfect for an Environmental Science course. My wife will use this in her AP Environmental Science class.
The film seems like it points every finger at BP, and there is a lot of blame to be levied against them, (they were also squarely responsible for part of the Exxon Valdez accident). Instead they show there was a lot more than simply BP at fault. The film traces history back to the start of the problem under the Reagan administration. The first hour and fifteen minutes show the frustration with how badly everything about this accident was bumbled. The victims are the innocent people and animals that live around the Gulf.
This is a well-built documentary. The story is built logically and clearly with what happened, who did what, and who is at fault. Ultimately the blame lands mostly on BP, followed by the Bush administration, then the Reagan administration, and finally the Obama administration (almost an innocent bystander that inherited a very deeply entrenched regulatory body staffed by former oil company employees and executives).
From a production standpoint, the film is not exactly the best. The early titles could have used a lot of editing. Once the film got going, the message was much stronger than technical issues.
I resolved to never buy BP gas ever again after the spill first happened. I have kept my resolve. This film made me angry. At this point I would rather run out of gas than give them one dime of mine. It would be wonderful if more people boycotted BP as a result of this film.
There are massive long term effects BP is not owning up to and not paying for. I'm not certain other oil companies are necessarily better; at least they haven't ruined two ecosystems in the United States, and appear to do it with abandon.
I was provided a review copy of this film.
Probably one of the most comprehensive documentaries on American oil disasters, "Beyond Pollution" covers all the bases. Beginning with the Exxon Valdez debacle, the director and his team recount how since that disaster, the entire areas ecological system has collapsed. The human toll is great as well with serious illness and death accounted for by the clean-up crew.
When the focus is on the BP spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the truth comes out. Back in the Reagan and Bush years, regulations on the oil industry were so relaxed that hundreds and hundreds of spills occurred over the years. Nearly every single year, there was a major spill somewhere. These are events that most Americans don't know about. Not to lay blame on one side of the political aisle, the commentary shows that even in the Obama administration, not enough was done soon enough or fast enough.
Culminating dozens and dozens of television interviews and news reports, "Beyond Pollution" gives a massive amount of history and tragedy which is an ongoing nightmare. Although some of the footage is grainy and old, the sheer lack of accountability of politicians and oil industry executives is crystal clear. The Gulf economy may never get back to normal and the oil that still sits in massive plumes in the Gulf is stunning. This documentary shows that we have yet to fully experience the result of the Gulf oil spill, both ecologically, economically and in health terms. You will learn what really happened, why it happened and who benefited politically and monetarily. The story isn't over. The spills will continue.
This film was generously supplied by Passion River Films for an honest and fair review.
It's been just over three years since the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed eleven people and resulted in oil gushing from the sea floor for almost three months. "Beyond Pollution" is a documentary film about the disaster, what led to it, and the aftermath. The film is guaranteed to make you angry, whether you're a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative.
The first part of the film recounts the history of BP Oil and the environmental accidents and human lives lost because of alleged shortcuts and lack of safety concerns. From there, the filmmakers point a finger of guilt at the Reagan and Bush administrations for deregulating the energy industry. This was done in a fairly heavy-handed manner, but later in the film, the Obama administration gets its own share of criticism for the slow response to the developing disaster. The real "stars" of the film are the Gulf Coast residents, business owners, and political leaders who were most directly affected by the disaster. A number of them were interviewed by the filmmakers, and they painted a truly grim picture.
The film expresses a hope that government, corporations, and Wall Street would all become more responsible for their actions. It's hard to argue with that.
One note: In the film, it's stated that after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, due to the life cycles of fish and other marine life, it took about four years before the local ecosystem collapsed. It would have been interesting to have a brief update on the ecosystem of the northern Gulf of Mexico in the past three years.
A review copy of the film was provided by Passion River Films.
"Beyond Pollution" (2012 release; 90 min.) is a documentary that takes a look at the 2010 Gulf oil spill caused by the faulty Deepwater Horizon rig.
Several comments: the last hour of the movie, when it actually looks at the immediate causes of the oil spill, and its after-effects, makes for devastating viewing. The documentary brings a lot of commentary from people directly affected by the spill, intermixed with news footage (mostly CNN) as well as from the congressional hearings where the CEO of BP is grilled by Congress members, and the CEO simply looks like a deer staring into headlights. The culpability of BP (check the documentary's title) is clear to one and all, and BP is still paying the price (literally, as in: the billions of dollars) for this disaster. As the movie makes clear, there was a culture of corner-cutting within BP, exemplified by BP ignoring the advice of its own experts in the days and months leading up to the disaster. Shameful, really, and whatever price BP is paying for this, is not enough.
That said, the first half hour of the movie is a head-scratcher, to say the least. It purports to set the historical context of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, and to me it badly misfires, reason I cannot rate this otherwise great documentary more than 4 stars. For starters, some talking heads I have never have heard of dissect the culture of the Reagan and subsequent adminstrations, which in and of itself is fine, but there is no reason whatsoever to belittle Reagan the person, as one of the commentators does, essentially calling him incompetent (when in fact Reagan is regarded by many independent sources as one of the top 10 presidents of all time). Or calling administration officials "dumbwits", which again seems an unneccesary slur. That aside, this is an important documentary that needs to be seen. This week marks the 3rd anniversary of the Gulf oil spill, and it will take many more years to fully assess the ultimate environmental and social impact of this terrible disaster.