From The Director
Dirty Energy represents a tremendous labor of love for me. I dedicated over a year of my life to this project. The idea of making this film came out of the tremendous amount of guilt I felt at doing nothing but watching the tv screaming as yet another disaster hit our country. So, I decided to make my voice heard. I packed my bags, hit the road, and posted a request for donations on facebook; since at the time I only had gas money ($200) and the few groceries that I was able to scrape together. Luckily, through the kindness of friends both old and new, this amazing journey became possible.
When I arrived in Louisiana and actually met the people involved, my intentions changed. Making Dirty Energy became less about me trying to tell the world my views and more about making an honest film, free of personal intentions. Instead, the film empowered the voices of the locals directly effected by this disaster. The concerns of those I interviewed were and still are immediate. They are scared about the poison in their food and the ability to provide for their families. Clean water is not some abstract philosophical debate, it’s a way of life that is endangered and carries consequences that reach far beyond just the Gulf Region.
My aspiration for this film is to provide audiences with an intimate understanding of the BP Oil Spill from the inside out. Although the spill has large implications on a national level, the worst injustices are against people just like us - hardworking American families who have lost so much and now stand to lose even more as long-term health concerns are brushed under the rug.
On April 20th, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven BP workers and spewing 200 million barrels of oil into the ocean. DIRTY ENERGY brings to light the personal stories of the Louisiana fishermen and local residents directly impacted by the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Filmmaker Bryan D. Hopkins gains intimate access to the lives and homes of these people, as they struggle to rebuild their lives and contend with emerging health crises related to the toxic dispersants used to clean up the spill. DIRTY ENERGY paints a poignant portrait of the human cost of the calamity, and the systematic failure by BP and the U.S. Government to effectively and transparently manage the environmental impact.