Spilling Over

Spilling Over

Worried residents of a small Louisiana fishing community face an uncertain future. The Deepwater Horizon disaster destroyed their environment, their livelihoods, and, for some, their families. (UNC)

Venice, Louisiana is facing extinction. The small fishing community, located just 50 miles from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is in jeopardy, as the BP oil spill has put the livelihood of the residents in danger. They are now left with a difficult choice. Do they stay and risk their health for the sake of their history and culture? Or do they give up their jobs, their community and their heritage in an effort to flee the lasting effects of the oil spill?

Kindra Arnesen, a fisherman’s wife and mother of two, laments, “My husband is 42 years old and has been doing the same thing since he was a kid. What’s he going to do to make a living?” She is just one of the heartbroken victims of BP’s Gulf oil spill featured in this video who faces losing everything unless the effects of the oil spill can somehow be erased. Tight close-ups are especially good at capturing the raw emotions of the affected residents.

The video, produced by students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tracks Arnesen as she turns activist and confronts officials about BP’s lack of response to the community’s concerns. She also worries that her children are being exposed to toxic oil fumes, and insists on moving away from their home, located just 50 miles from the blown-out well. Her agonizing decision to take the kids to New Orleans out of harm’s way is especially wrenching. We see in split screen her phone conversation with her husband as he reluctantly packs up the crying children for the trip.

CHANNEL: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Length: 8:33

By Jessey Dearing, Lauren Frohne, Elena Rue and Mike Ehrlich

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