It was the biggest boycott in Europe's postwar history. It was the most successful campaign ever conducted by Greenpeace. It was a postmodern remake of the classic story of David against Goliath – Greenpeace against Shell in the Brent Spar campaign. A new force appeared on the stage of world affairs: the power of the consumer.
The multinational oil company Shell announced on June 20, 1995, that it did not intend to sink the Brent Spar oil platform in the North Sea after all, "on account of the overwhelming international opposition" to the plan. The successful Greenpeace campaign quickly became a legend characterized by superlatives. People spoke of mass hysteria – or the victory of citizens' protests against an immoral industry. They spoke of the treachery of the media – or the power of the consumer in an age of truly ecological thinking. They saw a danger to democracy – or proof of grass-roots democracy. It was not arguments but the Greenpeace rubber rafts surrounding the drilling platform that became the symbols of an apocalyptic latter-day version of the struggle of David against Goliath – a classic visual symbol of the postmodern era. "Shooting the Film "Brent Spar" tells the controversial story of a decommissioned drilling platform that becomes a symbol of the power of the consumer and is ultimately disposed of three years later in the small harbor of Mekjarvik. It's a political adventure story and a lesson in how we perceive reality through the media.