Described as ‘the biggest unsustainable development on the planet’, Canada’s vast Tar Sands region offers rich pickings for anyone greedy enough to get their hands dirty at the expense of the environment. According to this latest doc on the horrific side-effects of oil production, it takes four barrels of water from the Athabasca River to produce one barrel of crude. Ninety per cent of this processed, toxic water is then pumped into vast lakes, some of which leaks into the nearby river. Small wonder the community of Fort Chipewyan, where cancer rates are strangely high, is up in arms.
Despite covering similar ground as ‘Dirty Oil’, this third instalment in the Co-op’s ‘Tar Sands’ trilogy proves more illustrative and less scholarly. But, tragically, you sense campaigners are banging their heads against a wall: a few faint bells of disquiet are no match for the cacophony of a trillion cash-tills. Perhaps the Gulf of Mexico disaster will do more for the cause than a film ever could?