A True Story about Oil
From the food on our tables to the fuel in our cars, crude oil seeps invisibly into almost every part of our modern lives. It is the energy source and raw material that drives transport and the economy. Yet many of us have little idea of the incredible journey it has made to reach our gas tanks and plastic bags. This Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) TV creation “Crude – the incredible journey of oil”, is a superbly crafted, 90 minute documentary spanning 160 million years of the Earth’s history to reveal the story of oil.
The first 10 minutes of Part 1 is worth the investment of your time. Stunning videography and an explanation of why the Gulf of Mexico is such a rich natural resource.
The past, present, and future of crude oil. Australian documentary filmmaker Robert Smith (a marine biologist by training) set out to make this film because of what he called, “his own curiosity and quest for knowledge to understand this substance that takes such precedence in almost every aspect of our lives.” Even the computer that I now type this on owes its presence to the petroleum products making up its plastic case, not to mention the fuel that allowed it to be transported from its place of manufacture to my desk. What amazed Smith, and amazed me in viewing the film, is how pervasive crude oil has become in every aspect of our lives, and how quickly it has done so.
One of the important questions everyone wants to know these days is, “Have we really hit peak oil?” (The point at which the oil available is equal to the oil we’ve already consumed.) Smith thinks so, but when he speaks about his film he clarifies that “it’s a messy peak, with peaks and valleys.”
After watching the documentary, I left feeling like everyone needed to see Crude. It’s extremely well-done, with much of the footage skillfully shot by Smith himself as he traveled the world, talking to experts and visiting oil production facilities. It reminds us of the reality of what our dependence on oil means: it’s a limited resource.
Crude has garnered attention; noted environmentalist David Suzuki penned a rave review that appears on the film’s site, and it won accolades at the 2007 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
(review via The Santa Barbara Independent..)