The Great Invisible Tells the Story of BP Workers at Deepwater

When BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation went bad in 2010, it did so in spectacular fashion. There was an explosion, a fire, and nearly incomprehensible damage to the people, economy, and ecosystem of the Gulf states. The lawsuits against BP came hard and fast in the aftermath of the disaster, and BP pulled a few fast ones along the way, as well.

Still, most of the world- most of America, at least- has largely moved on. But what about the people who were hurt or the families of the BP workers killed in the disaster? What happened to the people most intimately touched by BP’s failing? Those are the questions the Great Invisible, a new documentary debuting at SXSW, hopes to answer.

 

the Great Invisible | Synopsis

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 crew members 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.

Interweaving personal stories with insight from industry insiders and news footage of the disaster and its aftermath, Brown creates an intimate and emotional look at the many people still haunted by the Deepwater Horizon explosion long after the story has faded from the front page. The first comprehensive overview of the incident and its aftermath, The Great Invisible brings a new and unique perspective to 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.

 

Source | Photos: the Great Invisible, via SXSW.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.