1 2
Special Screenings
Traveling Festival


Black Wave: The Legacy Of The Exxon Valdez

Black Wave: The Legacy Of The Exxon Valdez
99' (Canada, USA)

Director:  Robert Cornellier
Producers:  Robert Cornellier, Paul Carvalho


On March 24th, 1989, when a drunken captain allows the Exxon Valdez supertanker to run aground on a reef, millions of gallons of crude oil are spilled in the pristine waters of Alaska. It is the biggest environmental disaster in North American history. But Exxon reacts quickly. “You’re lucky it happened with Exxon, because we do business straight,” a company spokesman tells hundreds of despairing fishermen. “It won’t take twenty years to solve all this.” Fast forward twenty years. In Alaska’s little fishing town of Cordova, a native sculptor carves a ‘shame Exxon’ totem pole, featuring the spokesman’s famous promise, “We will make you whole.” That has not happened. Cordova’s families face poverty as a result of the herring fishery’s collapse. A fishers’ lawsuit obtains the biggest jury award in American judicial history—5.5 billion dollars—yet Exxon stalls the case for more than a decade while fishers go broke.


Robert Cornellier made his first documentary in 1978 Une autre histoire des pays d’en haut. In 1986, Robert teamed up with Patricio Henriquez and Raymonde Provencher at the helm of the Nord-Sud TV program. In 1994, he co-produced and directed J’ai encore une vie à vivre, a collection of testimonials by teens fighting cancer. A year later, he teamed up with his former Nord-Sud colleagues to form Macumba International. In addition to his role as producer at Macumba International, Robert directed a film on Judy Bassingwaithe, a community worker from Johannesburg and co-produced The Last Stand of Salvador Allende and Images of a Dictatorship.

Prior to his documentary experience, Paul Carvalho spent more than twenty years working as a radio and TV reporter. As a documentary filmmaker he profiled Margaret Trudeau; Canada’s most collected painter, Norval Morrisseau; and the fastest sprinters in the world, America’s Maurice Greene and Canada’s Donovan Bailey. He produced The Americas in the 21st Century, which won the Aurora Gold Award and he produced the UN’s official film on the rebirth of East Timor, Patria.

Contact Information:

Macumba Doc
3862, Parc-LaFontaine Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H2L 3M6
E-mail: melaniel@macumbainternational.com
Film website: blackwavethefilm.com

©2009 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
Select a film

The Age of Stupid
American Outrage
Azerbaijan: The Last Kankan of Nakhchivan
Battle for the Xingu
Black Wave: The Legacy Of The Exxon Valdez
Burma VJ
Cheat Neutral
China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
City of Borders
Crips and Bloods: Made in America
The Dhamma Brothers
Disco and Atomic War
A Film From My Parish - 6 Farms
Garbage Dreams
The Garden
Gold Rush (The Neharawalas)
Grandmother to Grandmother: New York to Tanzania
Houston We Have a Problem
Killer's Paradise
Knock on Wood
Letters to the President
Milking The Rhino
Mugabe and the White African
Mustang - Journey of Transformation
My Neighbor, My Killer
Naming Pluto
No Good Reason
No Strings
Once Upon a Tide
The Power of the Powerless
Power Paths
Prom Night in Mississippi
The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court
Reclaiming Their Voices: The Native American Vote in New Mexico
The Road to Fallujah
The Sari Soldiers
Seed Hunter
Sin by Silence
Soldiers of Peace
Speaking in Tongues
The Strangest Dream
Sweet Crude
Tapestries of Hope
Welcome to North Korea!
What's On Your Plate?
The Yes Men Fix the World