If you thought the prospects for a relatively stable, healthy society were doomed after seeing An Inconvenient Truth and then extra-double-doomed after seeing Collapse, Josh and Rebecca Tickell‘s The Big Fix is the whipped cream and the cherry on top. It’ll make you feel triple-screwed, deflated, poisoned, abused, tattooed and up shit creek.
And it’s all perfectly true. I’ve heard and read every last soothsaying, doom-predicting word it delivers in articles, books and yaddah-yaddah, and it’s all on the money.
The Big Fix begins as an earnest but mild-mannered doc about the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how lying British Petroleum’s cavalier attitude about safety was the father of it. So it starts somewhat mildly with a tour of some of the Gulf of Mexico towns hardest hit by the spill with the two filmmakers + the gently smiling executive producer Peter Fonda in tow for celebrity value. I was kind of wondering if The Big Fix was going to pick up steam or if this was it.
And then wham…it hits a vein when it begins showing how BP has been spraying the gulf with the disbursement chemical called Corexit, which hides the oil by turning it into little speckballs instead of big fat gobs and has been creating major health risks for for coastal dwellers and marine life alike.
And then Rebecca herself starts exhibiting disturbing skin-rash symptoms, and we’re told near the end that her longterm health prospects may be uncertain.
Yes, The Big Fix needs a bit of trimming. Lose the simple-Simon, me-and-my-wife-making-a-movie opening with Fonda and kick it into gear a bit faster. But the way this thing trampolines from an evil-BP, hand-wringing lament piece into a tough portrait of inevitable corporate Armageddon…wow! It just goes to town and links it all together and hits you with fact after fact after fact. “Are you getting this?,” it’s basically saying, “or are you going back to sleep now?”
This is serious. The extremely selfish mega-rich are running out the string and the bought-and-paid-for politicians (like Louisiana’s reprehensible Mary Landreau) aren’t going to do a damn thing to turn any of this around. We’re seriously fucked. Or, as Don Cheadle said to Miguel Ferrer in Traffic, “No…you’re FUCKED!”
And it bitchslaps Barack Obama big-time for being an obliging tool of oil-rich corporate America…a sell-out. It delivers the toughest anti-Obama diatribes seen or heard outside the realm of Republican-funded hitjobs, and the Tickells are green lefties, mind. Considering the news and general evidence presented it seems hard for much of a pro-Obama case to be made. He frowned and empathized and basically cruised through the spill. BP, the film reminds, has only paid off on one citizen lawsuit.
The planet is being raped and poisoned and choked and is inexorably winding down. No mild-mannered remedies, the film says. Take to the streets and bring this shit to an end or wait for more crises, but either way it’s not going to be pretty.
There’s too much debt, too much greed, not enough oil and it’s all going to start falling apart — in fits and starts, bit by bit and then more and more, and then eventually…well, look out. A vast and terrible turnover that will devastate and destruct is just around the corner. Ten years, twenty years…forget it. Unless everyone wakes up and starts really screaming.