Berlinger's 'Crude' to be Honored at Nashville Film Festival
By Jim Ridley
on Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 10:31 AM
Even if you don't know Joe Berlinger's name, you know his work. Mention his epic 2004 rock doc Metallica: Some Kind of Monster in this office, and folks start doing their whiniest Lars Ulrich imitations. An even bigger cult exists for his landmark Paradise Lost documentaries about the likely railroading of the West Memphis Three--journalism more gripping and urgent than any courtroom drama.
Berlinger will be in Nashville April 19 at the Nashville Film Festival, where he'll pick up the NPT Human Spirit Award for his latest documentary, Crude. Made without his longtime directing partner Bruce Sinofsky, Crude examines one of the most bitterly fought and complex legal cases of recent years: the $27 billion lawsuit pitched by indigenous South American tribes against Big Oil powerhouse Chevron over the "Amazon Chernobyl" environmental catastrophe. The doc got strong notices when it premiered this year at Sundance.
As part of its 40-year retrospective, the festival will also show Berlinger and Sinofsky's 1996 film Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, which chronicles the grisly killings and outrageous subsequent trial that started the West Memphis Three saga. A third Paradise Lost film will reportedly be shown on HBO later this year.
Tickets for the festival go on sale online April 7. The schedule is up now.