The fishing and oil and gas industries make for strange bedfellows. Their tremulous co-existence lies at the heart of Oil & Water.
The setting is Louisiana, a region distinguished by the generations of Cajun families who have made their living capturing the seafood that feeds the nation. Based upon a long and proud heritage, their attachment to the land is profound; a symbiosis which has seen its share of severe challenges in recent decades. Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in 2005, and the recovery from that catastrophic event continues to this day. But some residents consider the thriving oil and gas industries as the major threat to their perseverance and salvation.
This perception may fly in the face of popular opinion. When the oil and gas industries moved into the area, the wings of their soaring business allowed many of the families in surrounding communities to take flight as well. Their economic status enjoyed a boost, and the industry dollars flooding into the state allowed for crucial expansions in infrastructure. The alliance between the fishing and oil and gas industries seemed harmonious for some time as each segment appeared to support the other for the benefit of the region as a whole. But that foundation of mutual benefit suffered a tidal shift with the BP oil spill in 2010, one of the most damaging environmental catastrophes in the history of the United States.
As shown in the film, this occurrence has led to a real crisis of conscience for many families in the region who make their living from the high paying jobs created by the oil and gas industries. Deepwater drilling accounts for a massive percentage of total oil production throughout the globe - a slice of the pie which has only grown since the oil spill disaster. In many of the views expressed in the film, the same industry that allows long-time residents the ability to support their families is also responsible for devastating the environment in which they raise their children.
Relying on a series of searing and honest interviews with area residents who represent all sides of the issue, Oil & Water presents this conflict with great compassion and empathy.