Norco, Louisiana is a true company town. Named after a refinery now owned by Shell Oil, Norco is home to two distinct communities -- one black and one white. Though separated by mere blocks, their realities are worlds apart. Nowhere is this clearer than in each community's response to possible links between the company's activities and the townspeople's illnesses. The African-American neighborhood, known as the Diamond community, believes that pollution is increasing and wants to be relocated by Shell. The white neighborhood, many of whom work for Shell, denies any health problems, as does the company. Led by the indefatigable Margie Richard, the Diamond Community organizes their efforts and, using EPA approved buckets, forms a "bucket brigade" to collect air samples for evidence of environmental contamination by the plant. A modern David and Goliath story, FENCELINE: A COMPANY TOWN DIVIDED shows how one small community and one big corporation struggle to come to terms. In June, 2002, prior to the screening of this film, Shell offered to buy out all four streets of the Diamond Community. The company maintains that Norco is a good place to live.
Directed and Photographed by Slawomir Grunberg; Produced by Slawomir Grunberg and Jane Greenberg; Editing and Sound by Brian Truglio; Music by Tony Delafose.
FENCELINE: A COMPANY TOWN DIVIDED premieres nationally on P.O.V. Tuesday, July 23, 2002 at 10:00 pm (check local listings) on PBS. Produced by LOGTV, Ltd. in association with the Independent Television Service. ITVS and National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) Co-presentation.
- 100 Climate Justice Initiative
- 107 Energy