A poignant addition to the series of eco-documentaries released over the last year, Crude tracks the struggle of rural Ecuadorians against oil corporation Texaco, and the environmental and health damages accrued after decades of oil companies in the country. The film shocks us with an investigative piece featuring the legal combat between the indigenous Ecuadorians and one of the world’s biggest oil companies.

Texaco is being sued for compensation over the ecological harm it caused in Ecuador since it started drilling in the early 1960s. Texaco, now owned by Chevron, arrived in Ecuador and started drilling in one of the richest oil excavation sites, the Americas, in the Amazon rainforest area. Texaco partnered with the Ecuadorian national oil company (Petro Ecuador) and pumped over a billion barrels of oil for the next 23 years, while digging pits to dump the toxic oil waste around every well.

The high levels of toxic waste seriously harmed the ecological surroundings in north-eastern Ecuador, and it raised the number of cancer cases among children and adults, who, for lack of access to clean water, are forced to bathe in contaminated, oily waters.

The film follows the class-action lawsuit by 30,000 locals and Pablo Fajardo, their lead attorney along with the American legal advisor Steven Donziger, who specializes in class-action lawsuits. While the film presents its case by hearing both sides of the lawsuit, it is easy to tell where the film’s heart is.

Crude portrays the secrets of a modern battle for justice, and how important and vital media has become. Public opinion is often set by the media and so the case partially changes once the non-profit organization Rainforest Foundation is on board with the cause: its cofounders are British singer Sting and his wife Trudie Styler.

Throughout the film we get an insider’s look at how policies and strategies of struggles take place and while you are left with a sour taste and an eager longing for closure, “The trial itself is a miracle” says Lawyer Steven Donziger. It hits you where it counts: your humanity.