Pressure. Alert. Pressure. Alert.
‘Deepwater Horizon’, which opens in Australian cinemas on 6 October, is all about pressure.
It’s about the pressure on rig workers from the villainous BP executive, deliciously played by John Malkovich, despite their very valid safety fears.
It’s about the emotional pressure on people like Kate Hudson’s character back home as they wait to hear about loved ones in peril.
Though her husband (Mark Wahlberg) survives, in real life eleven workers were not so lucky. Many more were badly injured.
Most of all, throughout the movie we witness the ominous pressure building beneath the waves. Even the rig workers call the oil a ‘monster’, not knowing it’s about to burst from its lair to wreak havoc upon them.
That same monster and that same villain could soon be on their way to Australia’s southern shores. BP has hired a rig even bigger than the Deepwater Horizon, and they want to drill in the Great Australian Bight at depths even deeper and in conditions even stormier.
It’s no spoiler to tell you that, after the events depicted in the film, the Gulf of Mexico disaster led to one of the worst oil spills in history.
Even six years on, communities and wildlife are still suffering from its effects. Fishermen who cannot fish, communities still waiting for compensation, dead animals washing up onshore.
According to ‘Deepwater Horizon’ director Peter Berg in The Guardian: “No one realised what the price could be for the shortcuts. I’ll bet you BP are not going to be so quick to cut corners in future.”
Sadly he may be wrong. BP themselves say they’d rather save time and money than bring essential leak-plugging gear to Australia. It’s all in their environmental plan overview.
In fact, their bid to drill in the Great Australian Bight has been rejected three times by Australian regulators NOPSEMA. But the pressure to make a fat profit means they’re going to keep trying.
The sanctuary of the Great Australian Bight cannot become the next Gulf of Mexico. There must never be a sequel to Deepwater Horizon. No further shortcuts, no new drilling, no more stricken communities and dying oceans.
The advantage we have over the energy corporations is people power. Now the regulators have put BP’s schedule in question, and Hollywood is making cinemagoers aware of their recklessness, we all have a part to play.