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The New York Times’ Stephen Holden called it “A sprawling legal thriller with rare depth and power.” Village Voice’s Ed Gonzales called it “A Herculean work of investigative journalism.”

They’re talking about Crude, a new feature-length documentary meant to bring attention to and lay out both sides of the 27-billion-dollar lawsuit surrounding Chevron’s polluting of the Ecuadorean Amazon during its years of oil exploration.

While the press has been extolling the film’s efforts, celebrities such as Sean Penn, Rosanna Arquette and Dave Navarro are helping to bring attention to the 16-year trial by attending Crude’s premiers that are running through major US cities. Trudie Styler went so far as to invite 6,000 Chevron employees in San Francisco to see the film.

“You may know me as Sting's wife," she wrote, “and you may know of my work for the environment and human rights. You may also have heard my name mentioned as one of the celebrities speaking out in support of the 30,000 Ecuadorean citizens who are pursuing Chevron to clean up the pollution the company left behind in their homeland. Many people will assume that you and I must be on different sides of the fence on this issue. But I don’t believe that. I’m willing to bet that you and I, and all of your colleagues, agree that everyone has the fundamental right to the life-supporting elements of clean air and clean water…I’d like to give you the opportunity to make up your own mind about what has been going on in Ecuador, and to consider how justice can be achieved for the people suffering there. I’d like to invite you to the movies.”

Atossa Soltani, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, which hosted the Hollywood premier last month, is pleased with the reaction to Crude: “The film shows both sides and allows the audience to be the judge on whether Chevron is guilty. Chevron is fast losing the battle in the court of public opinion and showing clear signs that it is afraid of Crude.” 

Amazon Watch’s Corporate Accountability Campaigner, Mitch Anderson wants as many people to see the movie as possible, and “to let Chevron know that it can no longer afford to evade it’s clean up responsibility in Ecuador.”

You can visit the official film website here.

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