Director: Joe Berlinger
Runtime: 105 minutes
TV Rating: TVMA
Crude is a 2009 American documentary film directed and produced by Joe Berlinger. It follows a two year portion of an ongoing class action lawsuit against the Chevron Corporation in Ecuador.
The film follows the progress during 2006 and 2007 of a $27 billion legal case brought against the Chevron Corporation following the drilling of the Lago Agrio oil field, a case described by activists as an “Amazon Chernobyl”.
The plaintiffs of the class action lawsuit are 30,000 Ecuadorians living in the Amazonian rainforest who claim their ancestral homeland has been polluted by the oil industry. In addition to the legal struggle, Crude shows interviews from representatives of the plaintiffs and defendants of the class action lawsuit, and explores the influence of media support such as Vanity Fair, celebrity activism including support from musical artist Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, the power of multinational corporations, the shifting power in Ecuadorian politics, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures explored in the movie.
The film ends with a prediction the lawsuit will not be resolved for another decade or so unless an out of court settlement is arranged.