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A CRUDE AWAKENING: THE OIL CRASH

SYNOPSIS:
Oil, a rare and non-renewable fossil fuel, is the source of the world's largest economies, and demand is set to accelerate even faster as China embraces the private motor vehicle. But as demand grows, supply seems likely to shrink, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Scientists and experts reveal the truth about the scarcity of oil and talk about the alternatives - and the need to innovate now.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
"Oil is the excrement of the devil ..." or it's "the blood of the earth"; that's how this thought provoking documentary begins. It goes to explain (through the words of scientists and experts) how our way of life is indeed in deep excrement and there's a devil's own problem brewing which will cause us bloody headaches. And probably sooner than we think.

The main thrust of the documentary is that oil reserves are running out - we have reached the peak of production and it's all downhill from now. Things are made murky by the fact that most of the oil reserves are in the Middle East, and the owners of these reserves have been lying about their reserves so we don't really know whether there is a decade or a weekend left before petrol stations start running out. The reason they're lying is because under the present system of allocating production volume amongst themselves is based on a percentage of known reserves. Each year the oil states report that their known reserves are the same as last year, for fear of getting a reduced quota. They don't much care for tomorrow, especially ours, since they're getting rich today, thanks.

But they're not the only ones to blame. We have ourselves to blame, too, as many of the interview subjects point out. We've been cavalier about developing alternative sources of fuel but have built our economies on oil.

A succinct and scary scenario is cleverly and clearly put together by the filmmakers, using a variety of cinematic tools. It's every bit as motivational as An Inconvenient Truth, and just as scary.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

A CRUDE AWAKENING: THE OIL CRASH (G)
(Switzerland, 2006)

CAST: Documentary

PRODUCER: Ray McCormack

DIRECTOR: Basil Gelpke, Ray McCormack

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Frank Messmer, Daniel Pfisterer

EDITOR: Georgia Wyss

MUSIC: Daniel Schnyder

PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Gil Scrine Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne, Perth: June 7, 2007; Adelaide, Sydney: June 14, 2007






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