The documentary film Crude, about Amazonian tribes suing Chevron for destroying their environment, has become part of the story it’s covering. Chevron has subpoenaed seize 600 hours of film outtakes to bolster their claim that the Amazonians are waging a fraudulent case. But filmmaker Joe Berlinger is trying to stop Chevron on First Amendment grounds. Berlinger talks to Matt Holzman on same the day his side of the case is being heard in court.
Note: On July 15 the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order which underscores the court’s recognition of the urgency involved in such matters. Berlinger had been ordered by the trial court to turn over 600 hours from his documentary to Chevron.
Berlinger's attorney calls the order "a partial victory for both sides" in which Chevron gets some but not all of what it wants. Berlinger has to turn over some, but not all 600 hours of footage. The footage he gathered alone with the plaintiffs and their families, friends, and neighbors has all been protected. Chevron can use the footage for litigation, arbitration, or submission to official bodies, but cannot use it in publicity or promotional materials.