A Crude Awakening – The Oil Crash

20 March 2008

Oil has been variously described as black blood, the blood of the dinosaurs, the bloodstream of the world's economy, and the Devil's Tears.

A Crude Awakening is a documentary on the origins and future of oil. Described as “A shocking wake-up call that is set to do for energy what Al Gore's ‘An Inconvenient Truth' did for climate change”, it intermingles archive footage of the development of oil, a wide variety of interviews, and then speculates on what will happen after oil peaks and declines.

The filmmakers have travelled extensively to photograph places and interview people – from “Peak oil pundits” like Colin Campbell and Matt Simmons, to more obscure individuals such as the mayor of a former Texas oil boom town and the manager of a desolate field of rusting drilling gear in Baku in Rumania.

This is one of the most accessible films on a critical and misunderstood subject. Compared to The End of Suburbia, it is far more universal, rather than being focussed on the specifics of suburbia in the U.S.A. It contains some rare 1975 footage of the guru of oil depletion, Dr M.K. Hubbert being very prescient in his analysis of how oil relates to the future of our society, then demonstrating a small solar panel; a man so far ahead of his time he was widely ridiculed, yet now seems to have been highly accurate in his predictions.

This is probably the clearest visual introduction to the subject of “Peak Oil” around at the present time. The ideas in this film will certainly stimulate debate.

Directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, the film is out on DVD on 24 th March.

Website: http://www.oilcrashthemovie.com/

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