Honouring the victims
> Deepwater Horizon is a film out to tell the real events and the people caught up in the worst offshore oil disaster in the US
ATOP priority for a new movie about the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, said its director and main actor, was ensuring it accurately depicted the disaster that killed 11 workers.
Deepwater Horizon, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, focuses on the hours before and after the rig explosion on April 20, 2010, that led to the worst offshore oil disaster in the US history.
Directed by Peter Berg, the film stars Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, the real-life worker who was one of the last people to escape from the burning rig.
“We wanted to preserve the authenticity of that experience. Eleven people died. It really happened. It’s not just a piece of entertainment,” Berg said in a red carpet interview ahead of the premiere. “We tried to be as natural and not slick whenever we could.”
The film received a standing ovation at the festival, with cheers when the spotlight shone on the real Williams, who attended the event with his wife and daughter.
Wahlberg said in an interview that because they were portraying real people, they felt additional pressure to get it right.
“We just made sure that we maintained creative control and we stayed true to the actual events, and honoured the 11 people [who] lost their lives.”
Berg said the movie partly originated from a segment on the television programme, 60 Minutes, about the hours leading up to the disaster.
“It was about science, it was about human courage, it was about corporate greed. To me, it just had all the elements of a really good story, and it stuck with me,” he said.
The film examines decisions made by BP executives leading up to the disaster, highlighting the pressure workers were put under to save money as drilling fell behind.
The British oil major in July estimated costs will total about US$62 billion (RM254.2 billion), as it sets aside billions for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs.
Kurt Russell, who portrays rig boss Jimmy Harrell, said when he first got involved with the project he remembered the spill, but did not realise the degree of suffering or courage displayed.
“There were many acts of incredible heroism that night, miracles,” he said. “I felt bad about the people that died. I felt they needed to be honoured.” – Reuters
(left) Wahlberg (centre) depicting oil rig worker Williams, one of the heroes of the disaster, in Deepwater Horizon.
(below) A scene from the movie that captures a crucial moment in history.