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After the Spill

Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina devastated the coast of Louisiana. Five years later the Deepwater Horizon exploded and spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the worst ecologic disaster in North American history. Amazingly those aren't the worst things facing Louisiana's coastline today. It is that the state is fast disappearing through coastal erosion caused largely by oil and gas industry activity.

A follow-up to the 2010 film SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories, this new film introduces us to some of the spill's most aggrieved victims as well as those who are desperately trying to save its coastline. Writer and historian John Barry who launched a suit against 97 oil and gas companies attempting to get them to pay their fair share for reparations caused by their explorations. Consultant and native son James Carville who manages to find some hope in new technologies that may save the coast. And Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, the man who saved New Orleans post-Katrina, whose new passion is for a Green Army he has recruited.

Fishermen, scientists, politicians, environmentalists, and oil-rig workers document how the coast of Louisiana has changed. What really happened to all that oil? What about the dispersant used to push it beneath the surface? How has the spill impacted local economies as well as human health and the health of both marine life and the Gulf itself? How much resilience is left in the people and coastline?

'After the Spill documents the enormous price that society pays for its addiction to oil. This price is not paid equally by everyone; the people of coastal Louisiana know this all too well...If you care about environmental justice, our seafood, our dependence on oil, and the quality of our air and water, you will find this film relevant, insightful, and infuriating.' Daniel McCool, Professor of Political Science, University of Utah, Author of 'River Republic: The Fall and Rise of America's Rivers'

'Searing...Images speak louder than words...Powerful.' Donald Liebenson, Booklist

'A balanced and quality educational film...As one who lived through Deepwater Horizon and has studied its effects, this film should be mandatory to all natural resource managers, federal regulatory agencies, and politicians who push for more offshore oil/gas development in areas in reach of sensitive wetland resources that drive economic and cultural prosperity and those coastal communities that depend on these vital coastal resources.' Dr. Mark Peterson, Professor of Coastal Studies, University of Southern Mississippi, Co-author, Impacts of Oil Spill Disasters on Marine Habitats and Fisheries in North America

'Highly Recommended...The film works to refute the usual argument that Louisiana can't afford to hurt oil companies because the state makes its living from their activities, no matter how dangerous or destructive. The industry frames the issue as jobs versus the environment, but safety and profits are not mutually exclusive. Carville suggests Louisiana can even profit by developing and selling technology to manage water and wetlands soundly.' Jim Hobbs, Educational Media Reviews Online

'Powerful interviews...This film hits hard...Compelling documentary successfully sheds light on mankind's relationship with water and our fragile environment and would spark discussions on economics, ecology, and environmental disasters in STEM classes.' Stephanie Bange, School Library Journal

'On the eve of a new presidential administration that threatens to roll back regulations and environmental protections, After the Spill is a timely reminder of what can happen when pecuniary interest trumps justice or plain common sense...Suitable for high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, environmental anthropology, economic anthropology, anthropology of oil, anthropology of social justice, and American studies, as well as for general audiences.' Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

'After the Spill demonstrates how far reaching and damaging the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, as well as the natural gas and oil extraction industries, have been...If the on-going catastrophe in the Gulf seems distant and abstract, watching After the Spill will bring the oil spill story 'home' for viewers and call them to take action.' Dr. Lisa Eargle, Professor and Chair of Sociology, Francis Marion University, Co-editor, Black Beaches And Bayous: The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster

'This documentary stars the people affected by not only the Deepwater Horizon oil spill but decades of natural and mad-made environmental degradation. After The Spill is a lesson in Civics, Economics, History, and Anthropology demonstrating the imbalance in economic prosperity of our citizens and the continued degradation of the environment they live in.' Christopher Green, Associate Professor of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University, Co-author, Impacts of Oil Spill Disasters on Marine Habitats and Fisheries in North America

'For them, the disaster is not over...Meanwhile, offshore drilling activity has actually expanded, while Louisiana's shoreline is losing an acre of land per day owing to frequent petroleum exploration or digging for pipelines. Louisiana and its people got hit with a double whammy.' David Conn, Library Journal

'Like Afghanistan, Louisiana is so rich it starves...Louisiana, like California, dies of water and power...You couldn't say that this informative and very disturbing film ends when it finishes, only that the images have stopped. You may also wish that tragedy, seal of chance and the bait of all gamblers, might recall that the land grew up hard.' Martin Billheimer, CounterPunch


Main credits

Bowermaster, Jon (film producer)
Bowermaster, Jon (film director)
Bowermaster, Jon (screenwriter)
Cavanagh, Chris (screenwriter)
Cavanagh, Chris (editor of moving image work)
Leo, Melissa (narrator)

Other credits

Director of photography, Brian C. Miller Richard; edited by Chris Cavanagh; original music, Sonny Landreth.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

American Democracy
Citizenship and Civics
Climate Change/Global Warming
Environmental Justice
Marine Biology
Natural Resources
Oceans and Coasts
Political Science
Science, Technology, Society
Social Justice
Toxic Chemicals


oil and gas industry, Louisiana poltics, disappearing coastline, Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon, BP, British Petroleum, oil rig explosion, oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, worst environmental disaster in US history, John Barry, James Carville, Russell Honore, Green Army, Nick Spitzer, fishermen, scientists, politicians, environmentalists, oil-rig workers, oil disperant, local economies, marine life, resiliency, climate change, BP's ad compaign, nesting birds, islands disappearing, BP's settlement money, health effects, environmental effects, industry threats, job loss, New Orleans Levee Board lawsuit, communities of color; "After the Spill"; Bullfrog Films,doc,env; science; politics

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