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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Crude Impact

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July 30, 2010

Movie Review Friday: Crude Impact

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that's currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Crude Impact (2006)

Available on DVD

In the 1950s, the U.S. was the largest producer of petroleum and the idea that we might one day run out of this endless resource was unthinkable. What was also unthinkable was the economic, political, and environmental destruction that one single source of energy could wreak – but Crude Impact plainly exposes the devastation caused by our addiction to oil.

The documentary begins with a brief history of oil production and the resulting global population boom, which the film argues has led to a consumption-driven culture with too many people and too few resources. Viewers learn bleak statistics too, including the fact that Americans account for 4% of the world’s population yet consume 25% of its resources.

With interviews and commentary from scientists, politicians, journalists, and environmentalists, the 98-minute documentary presents a well-rounded and thorough analysis of the causes and consequences of oil dependence. The accounts of the devastation Texaco wrought in Ecuador, and of Shell’s influence on Niger's political despotism are harsh affirmations that we direly need to find alternative energy sources.

The film, however, argues that moving beyond oil will be only a fraction of the solution; long-term change will require a paradigm shift away from the corporate-dominated, mass-consuming culture that dominates modern-day America.

--Allison McCann

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