Saturday, November 08, 2014

"The Great Invisible": the story of Deepwater Horizon, told by Margaret Brown

The documentary “The Great Invisible”, directed by Margaret Brown, traces the history and aftermath of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, almost directly south of the Mississippi-Alabama line, on April 20, 2010.  Much of the documentary establishes that many businesses along the Gulf are not Okay today, despite promotional ads on television that the Gulf is back. 
There is an early scene, of a recovery operation, where a cameraman is told he cannot continue filming because of BP restriction. But the footage gets in.
Early scenes in the movie show the actual progressive blowout, which rather looks like a rocket launch.  Men describe diving for their lives, and quandaries over whether they can save others first.  There are also some scenes that show the living quarters on the rig, which are rather like those in the Navy, with bunks.  It used to be all male.  I thought about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy only a few years ago, as applicable in some civilian situations, an idea that I had developed in my first DADT book.
Toward the end, there is a touching scene where an African-American man is cooking for a food bank along the Alabama shore, crunching spaghetti noodles and pour in huge cans of Hunts tomato paste, and he says “not everything in life is for money or for yourself.  Some things are for a blessing.”
There were QA’s with the director and with a representative of Oceania (link). I got to hear two of them, as I attended the later show Friday night at the West End Cinema in Washington DC.
The director emphasized that she wanted to tell a story about the area of the country in which she had grown up.
The official site is here from Radius TWC, which has become very aggressive with socially important documentaries, and Participant Media.  The film will also show at the DC Environmental Film Festival March 17-29, 2015.  It has shown at Tribeca, Sundance, and SXSW. 
Remember when BP CEO Tony Hayward said “I’d like my life back.” 

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