You can’t drive a car today without feeling responsible for what happened on the Gulf Coast. Faulty concrete, lack of supervision, and profit motive aside, there is still gas in my tank. Everything I touch, purchase, see, survive on is made possible because of the rare substrate extracted from the earth. This is not to say that I do not depend on the positive attributes of petrol-based products.

Welcome to the conundrum of our time.

Add to this the fact that my family makes money from mineral rights which derives income from oil. But in my family the worst thing you can be is a hypocrite. And that is what we as humans have’s OIL IN THE FAMILY and we’re all part of it.

Sixty three years before a deep water oil drilling platform near the Mississippi Delta exploded into U.S. History, Robert J. Flaherty (who made “Nanook of the North,” and is considered the father of the American documentary) was commissioned by Standard Oil in 1948 to make a film about oil exploration. The result was “Louisiana Story,” which portrays the excitement and the rewards a Cajun family receives when a drilling rig sets up on their bayou. It also is prophetic in revealing the tension created when we disrupt the interdependence of the natural environment and those traditional cultures who live in relation to that environment.

By exploring his family’s connection to Flaherty and the Louisiana Story, environmental artist and filmmaker Jon Goldman returns to the land of his great grandfather, discovering how industry changed forever the vitality of a region and sacrificed the real cost for prosperity. The film parallels one artist’s celebration of a threatened way of life and another artists need to confront the consequences. This story becomes a conversation
on how to change the future. It is a story about a family’s Louisiana legacy revealing how we are OIL IN THE FAMILY.

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