On April 20, 2010, communities throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States were devastated by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, a state-of-the-art, offshore oil-drilling rig operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The blast killed 11 of the rig’s 126 crewmembers and injured many more, setting off a fireball that could be seen 35 miles away. After two days ablaze, the Deepwater Horizon sank, causing the largest offshore oil spill in American history. The spill flowed unabated for almost three months, dumping hundreds of millions of gallons of oil in the ocean, shutting down the local fishing industry, polluting the fragile ecosystem and raising serious questions about the safety of continued offshore drilling. In the thought-provoking new documentary The Great Invisible, Peabody Award-winning documentarian Margaret Brown travels to small towns and major cities in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas to explore the fallout of the disaster on the people of the region. Eyewitnesses reconstruct the spill and its aftermath in their own words, creating a vivid picture of the deadly accident and its consequences. Brown treats her subjects with respect and sensitivity as they provide first-hand accounts of the tragedy from the moment of the explosion to its still unfolding repercussions on the region and its residents. Director Brown talks about the ongoing tension between the haves and the have-nots, exploring the crisis through the eyes of oil-industry executives, survivors, and local residents who are left to pick up the pieces while the world moves on.
The Great Invisble now playing at the Sundance Cinemas in Los Angeles
“The Great Invisible,” Margaret Brown’s quietly infuriating documentary film about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, includes depressing information that many would probably be happier not knowing.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times
“Brown’s gift is in the interviews she gets, which include a grieving father whose son was killed in the explosion and two oil rig workers who now suffer from a variety of maladies, including PTSD and depression.” – Sheila O’Malley RogerEbert.com
“It effectively demonstrates how the systemic cause of the Deepwater Horizon explosion was tied as much to society’s staggering dependence on fossil fuels as to the oil industry’s greed.” – Nick Prigge, Slant Magazine
“Quietly devastating …” – Andrew O’Hehir