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A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

A movie directed by Basil Gelpke

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  • Nov 25, 2007
Another documentary, a companion to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, that I am recommending to everyone that crosses my path - especially if they are crossing in a machine. This is the wake-up call to our oil-addicted nation that we need to get started on those 12 steps of ending addictive behavior, and we need to do so in fast forward.

Produced by award-winning filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, A Crude Awakening explores the crisis approaching at blink speed, beginning with those nations, US at the top of that list, who are dependent on oil (and don't think we are talking just about our cars, but all products produced from oil, e.g. aspirin, plastics, paint, candles, solvents, perfumes, lotions, cosmetics, carpets, toothpaste, roofing, etc.) who will be hit the hardest. Just a few short decades ago, we were told this supply of "dinosaur's blood," "black gold," would last forever, at least a few more centuries (said Nixon), but in fact is nearing the bottom of the barrel now.

How are we responding to this approaching crisis? Are we doing research? Developing alternative energy sources? In small pockets, perhaps, but not nearly enough to replace what energy we are using now. No solar, nuclear, wind, or other forms of energy can possibly replace the amount of oil energy we are presently consuming. Indeed, watch those who line up to buy Hummers, these steel road monsters that get a whopping 10 miles per gallon. Are we really so incapable of thinking beyond our own shallow and selfish instant gratification? Are we so willing to make our children and grandchildren pay? One wonders whether such drivers shouldn't be prosecuted for treason. Even as we continue to keep our heads in sand, we now desperately dig for oil in sand - another sign that the pure stuff is already nearly gone.

In a series of interviews with various experts, this film explores what has been, what is, what will soon be if we do not face up to our oil addiction immediately. Concluding thoughts with which the film leaves us: we are accountable for the government we have voted into place. We have an administration that responds (at best) to a crisis, but does nothing to prevent a crisis. It is up to us, the voters, to make the calls, write the letters, create the loud and clear demand that alternative energy sources be researched and developed as soon as possible. As in, yesterday. It is up to us to let our representatives know that we will support them if they work toward alternative and sustainable energy sources. It is up to us to make this a primary concern in upcoming elections. It's time. It's past time.

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More A Crude Awakening: The Oil Cra... reviews
review by . January 20, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Very well presented argument, artfully edited      Cons: If there is a counter-argument, it was not presented      The Bottom Line: If you are concerned about energy consumption, this is a good place to start, but it isn't a final say.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.      A Crude Awakening falls under what I call my 10% rule: if even 10 percent of the …
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Zinta Aistars ()
Ranked #135
I am a bilingual writer and editor; founder and editor-in-chief of the literary ezine, The Smoking Poet. Learn more about me on my Web site--I welcome visitors!
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While the previous eco-docWho Killed the Electric Car?spent some time on the world's oil crisis,A Crude Awakening(formerlyOilCrash) builds an entire film around the subject. Swiss journalist Basil Gelpke and Irish filmmaker Ray McCormack have constructed their narrative in a conventional manner, alternating between talking heads, archival footage, and modern-day material, but the addition of several pieces by Phillip Glass is an artful touch (and evokes his work on 1988'sThe Thin Blue Line). Throughout, a diverse array of experts from the U.S., Azerbaijan, Venezuela, and other countries explain how the 20th century became addicted to "the blood of the dinosaurs," and why contemporary society needs to change course. As attorney/activist Matthew David Savinar puts it, "Oil is our God." As Stanford professor Terry Lynn Karl adds, "More and more oil is going to come from less and less stable places...places that actually challenge the taking of oil in the first place." One of the more chilling revelations concerns the discrepancy between the reserves oil-producing nations claim they possess and the actual amount. These padded estimates allow them to drill with impunity, leading to an abundance of wealth in the short term and cataclysmic consequences once they've depleted their supply of this non-renewable resource.A Crude Awakeningisn't exactly a day-brightener, but Gelpke and McCormack are comprehensive and impartial in their ...
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Cast: Wade Adams
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
Runtime: 1hr 25min
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