Deepwater Horizon Film tells the Story of Lost Lives, B.P.’s Role in the Oil Spill Disaster

Ronald Davis | 10/3/2016, 5:53 p.m. | Updated on 10/3/2016, 5:53 p.m.
That’s the message of Deepwater Horizon, the Mark Walberg-produced film that chronicles the events that lead to the 2010 British ...

It could have been avoided.

That’s the message of Deepwater Horizon, the Mark Walberg-produced film that chronicles the events that lead to the 2010 British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico that took 11 lives and drastically destroyed the environment. Oil spewed from the Macondo Well for 87 days, releasing over 200 million gallons of oil into the ocean and resulted in $54 billion in estimated damages.

The movie, released in theatres on Sept. 30, 2016 follows Chief Technician Mike Williams, played by Walberg, as he and the rest of his crewmates are caught in the sudden and complete destruction of Deepwater Horizon, the oil rig that they work on. With very little time to act before the entire rig is engulfed in flames, Williams bravely rescues as many crewmates as he can. As the film chronicles the human story that few saw on the headlines, it also examines the shortcuts B.P. took in maintaining the rig, which eventually led to the rig’s destruction.

“It’s all about the almighty dollar,” said Iris Brown Carter with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade who attended an early screening of the film on Sept. 27, 2016 at A.M.C. Palace Theater in Elmwood, LA. Carter said she was among the Brigade’s team that worked on clean-up projects around the Gulf of Mexico and is thankful that the film focused on B.P.’s role in this disaster.

The movie recounts several shortcuts by B.P. that contributed to the blowout, such as the incorrect setting of the cement floor that surrounded the oil pipe. The film compares the pressures on the oil rig to a soda can being shaken up. What really moved viewers was seeing the entire oil rig engulf in flames in mere moments, due to a company’s neglect, at the expense of its workers. While no one else could possibly understand the horrors the workers faced on the rig, there are many residents who were impacted by the effects of the oil spill, including the people of New Orleans.

Stacy Hampton, who also attended the screening, and who works for a government agency that investigated the incident at Deepwater Horizon said that the film was 100 percent accurate in its depiction of the incident on the oil rig. Hampton said that she chose to come to watch the movie to make sure that it accurately portrayed the incident.

Residents who screened the film on September 27th loved the film, such as Charles Joseph who brought his family to see the film and who described it as a “good tear jerker.” Kenneth Lacho and Gerri Scuderi said they both saw the movie a total of five times before it’s official release date. “They couldn’t give me enough money to go back on [the oil rig],” said Scurderi, who felt horrified about the extent of corruption a company could have at the expense of its employees.