Oil & Water

Oil & Water 2


Saturday, October 25, 7pm, NW Film Forum

Most people are well aware of the continuing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, but relatively few people know about the devastation beneath this rich ecosystem in Ecuador. From the early 70s to the 90s, oil companies contaminated vast swaths of pristine jungle by slopping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits. Oil & Water portrays this environmental disaster from the unique perspectives of young people at both ends of the spectrum – Hugo Lucitante, from the indigenous Cofan tribe in Ecuador, and David Poritz, from Amherst, Massachusetts. Hugo, sent at age 10 by his tribe to get an American education, graduated from Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School in 2006. David first became aware of the oil catastrophe while researching a 6th-grade school project and made a commitment ever since to bring justice to the Amazon. This engaging doc follows the two teenagers with their feet in both worlds as their paths intersect over the next six years. While still in college, David fights an uphill battle to establish a “fair trade” certification system for oil production. Meanwhile, Hugo gets married to Sadie, a friend from his American high school, and the couple moves back and forth between his Cofan lands and the U.S. to save up for college. Oil & Water is a sobering look at the enormous pressures David and Hugo face, but it also demonstrates how two determined people can make a positive difference in the world. (Francine Strickwerda & Laurel Spellman Smith, 78 min, USA)

 

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