Josh Tickell, a Louisiana native, had two questions he wanted to answer when he set out to make his documentary: What were we not told by the media in the days and weeks immediately following the April 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and what haven’t we been told since the story faded from the news cycle? If The Big Fix had simply tackled those questions, the story uncovered would be maddening: BP’s repeated flouting of safety codes; their blatant disregard for the lives of individuals and communities devastated by the spill; collusion among the U.S. government (from local to the White House), the media, and BP to hide the damage and avoid holding anyone accountable. The film’s scope is staggering, including its detailed outlining of BP’s origins and fingerprints across decades of unrest in Iran. By doing smart, covert reporting that shames our news media, by interviewing uncensored journalists, by speaking with locals whose health has been destroyed, and by interviewing scientists who haven’t been bought by BP (many have, as the film illustrates), Fix stretches into a mandatory-viewing critique of widespread government corruption, with one of the film’s talking heads remarking, “I don’t have any long-term hope for us [as a country] unless we find a way to control campaign financing.” And yes, the Koch brothers are major players in the fuckery.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 30, 2011