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A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

This slick documentary on our planet’s growing shortage of oil is a gloomy affair. And rightly so if the principal message of the directors’ chosen talking heads, a mix of industry analysts and politicians, is to be believed: not only are we running out of fuel but we have our heads in the sand when it comes to the cultural, economic and political ramifications of life beyond the ‘peak’. With global demand on crude oil currently at 25 to 30 billion barrels a year and the appetite of new markets such as India and China increasing rapidly, the prognosis is not happy. The film regularly wanders off track to consider, for example, the relation between oil and war, but it’s largely a well-packaged affair that goes the extra mile to find pleasing, and often beautiful, imagery of oil production, from aerial shots of oil fields to film archive that celebrates America’s relationship with the automobile. The film’s plea is simply for awareness; it pins barely any hopes on hydrogen, hybrids, biomass , solar or any other alternative. We’re doomed – and that’s it. A real weepie.

Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday November 9 2007
Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Basil Gelpke, Ray McCormack

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Paul Rattenbury

The fact that this documentary is still fringe and ignored says more about us than it does about the movie. I am not really all that puzzled that there are no other comments posted. ( i assume this column is read once in a while ) And that is how big the 'problem ' is: We can't begin to imagine it. Those interviewed are the ignored navigators as the ship nears the iceberg ( this could be a quote from the film ). If you don't agree with them and believe science and 'they' will 'come up with something' - you must give your reasons for optimism, and then make your solution fit the global scale, I don't think there are any that rise much above the Space People coming to save us. The closer you are to the top of the food chain the more easily ignored is this approaching cliff. If I was doing something positive it would be learning how to turn a cow into a pair of shoes.

Paul Rattenbury

The fact that this documentary is still fringe and ignored says more about us than it does about the movie. I am not really all that puzzled that there are no other comments posted. ( i assume this column is read once in a while ) And that is how big the 'problem ' is: We can't begin to imagine it. Those interviewed are the ignored navigators as the ship nears the iceberg ( this could be a quote from the film ). If you don't agree with them and believe science and 'they' will 'come up with something' - you must give your reasons for optimism, and then make your solution fit the global scale, I don't think there are any that rise much above the Space People coming to save us. The closer you are to the top of the food chain the more easily ignored is this approaching cliff. If I was doing something positive it would be learning how to turn a cow into a pair of shoes.