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Now Is Probably a Good Time to Watch Nailah Jefferson’s ‘Vanishing Pearls’ (Find Out Why…)

Now Is Probably a Good Time to Watch Nailah Jefferson's 'Vanishing Pearls' (Find Out Why...)

In case you haven’t heard, BP has agreed to pay up to $18.7 billion as part of a settlement reached late last week over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreement, announced over the weekend, includes the US federal government, the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and settlement of claims made by more than 400 local government entities.

BP will pay the $18.7 billion over 18 years.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster is officially registered as one of the worst oil spill disasters in an unfortunately rather lengthy history of similar devastating occurrences all over the world; The people who live in the Niger delta, for example, are just one ongoing example of a population that has had to live with resulting environmental catastrophes for decades. Their story has been documented on film more than a few times – films that were highlighted on this blog.

The Deepwater BP Oil Spill takes center stage in this specific case, in Louisiana native Nailah Jefferson’s feature documentary, “Vanishing Pearls” – a 2014 Slamdance Film Festival selection, which was picked up by ARRAY, the multi-platform distribution label of the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), last year, and released during the spring.

I bring it up again today for obvious reasons, and also to make sure that you know the film is currently streaming on Netflix (it has been for some time now), so, first go read up on the BP settlement that was announced over the weekend, and then watch Nailah’s feature documentary on Netflix afterward.

An all-too familiar David vs Goliath story, the film follows the battle between the multinational oil and gas company, BP, and a 300-person Louisiana Gulf community dependent on oyster fishing, in a region where the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened, where more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Many thousand total miles of coastline were affected, including the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and even though the well was capped in July 2010, oil has still been seen washing up on shores, which might cause long-term damage to people living in the affected areas.

The initial oil rig explosion killed 11 people and injured 17 others, and over 8,000 animals (birds, turtles, mammals) were reported dead just 6 months after the spill, including many that are already on the endangered species list. 

Over 30,000 people responded to the spill, working to clean up the coast, take care of animals and perform various other duties. 

As of 2012, the Gulf was still polluted with oil.

Nailah Jefferson’s film (also her directorial debut), acts as a propogator of information on a situation that many may still not know about.

Watch a trailer for the film below, and then, if you’re a Netflix streaming subscriber, you should check it out:

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