A Crude Awakening – The Oil Crash (2006) Directed by: Basil Gelpke, Raymond McCormack, Reto Caduff The documentary, “A Crude Awakening”, is about the dwindling oil supply around the world. There are multiple experts in the film discussing the issue and why it’s such a major problem. It showcases success and failure within the oil industry, in the past, present and future. It also shines a light on how dependent on oil the world is. The main point of the film is to show the level of disarray our world will be in if the oil supply is one day depleted.
This film related to science and society in a few ways. The main way the film did this was bringing to light our society’s level of dependence on oil. We don’t only use oil for cars, we use it for machinery, plastics, fabrics, etc. It’s used in basically every aspect of our daily lives. We are especially dependent on oil for our transportation systems, whether we live in a city dependent on public transportation, or living in the suburbs and having to commute various miles in and out the city each day. Our lives would be greatly impacted if a drastic change in the oil industry hit our society.
It also discussed how farmers have it a little bit easier today because of the amount of help they receive from oil running a good bit of work on their farms. Another way the film is related to science and society is the political aspect of it. The film talked about how much oil is a contributing factor for war. The fight over it causes many political problems. Countries fighting over the use, misuse and control of oil causes conflict and turmoil. The film also talked about oil being the dominant factor in transportation energy.
The construction of elements/machinery used for transportation, such as: automobiles, trains, etc. , as well as the running of these elements are both run by oil. The film made a point to show how we are so dependent on oil, that if it is depleted, increased unemployment, poverty and bankruptcy could be the leading cause of a collapsing society. There is science in all these controversies. Also, there was a bit of “science class” type information going on in the beginning of the documentary when the scientists were talking about the chemical processes/reactions that produces oil.
I don’t think the directors misused their mediums to convey their slant on the story, but I don’t think they used it all that well, either. I say that because the film had little-to-no opposition about the issue. If an expert discussed how it is impossible to run out of oil then I must have missed it. There were many, many experts discussing the potential crisis peaking can cause, but next-to-no one discussing the latter. That takes any from the film a little bit, in my opinion. I was hoping a small segment would be spent on talking about the issue being discussed just isn’t the case.
It fell short of conveying that point. I learned a couple things from this film. I never paid much attention to the fact that our oil supplies are being depleted at such an alarming rate. I complained about the raising gas prices, many times, but I just chalked that off to the oil companies being greedy for more profit. But the idea of the world being close to peaking in the amount of oil pumped is a scary thought. It brought light to the fact that humans are draining the planet’s resources exponentially, and it’s rather shocking.
It was rather eye opening to see how much of a “ghost town” Baku had become, because just minutes before in the film, videos were shown of it being such booming oil exporter. I never knew places like that looked so drained and scary. A statement that caught my attention was made by Oil Geologist and Consultant to Exxon, Colin Campbell. He said that oil was formed once briefly and now it’s being used up over centuries. This statement is a bit scary considering the world’s dependence on oil.
This would have been a perfect segment in the film to allow someone on the opposing end to discuss reasons why we will always have an oil supply. Maybe I’m a bit ignorant to think that we will eventually drain our oil resources dry, that is why I wish someone would have been on this film to discuss why this can’t happen. This is the reason why the film did change my perspective on the subject somewhat. I was swayed a bit into believing what the film way saying. All the reasons given on why oil is so important frightened me. If we run out of oil, what will our world do? The film showed footage from the gas shortage in the 70s.
I was not alive for that crisis, but I do remember my parents telling me about that horrible time, with limits on gas, long lines, and having to wait for hours to get gas. If that happened to our society now, it would be devastating, especially considering how much of the technology we use today would be impacted. This film hit an issue that the documentary, “Flow: For the Love of Water” hit on; the moving and displacement of indigenous people so that companies can move in and expel the resources from the land they live on. It shows the brute force big business uses to gain, and keep, their profits.
Before watching these two films, I never really thought about this issue. It was very much an eye opener. The grade I would designate to this film would be a B+. It loses a letter grade because of the lack of opposition about this subject. I could tell the filmmakers put a lot of time and energy in the creation of this documentary, especially finding and including as many experts on the topic as they did. There was a great deal of information, video, research and propaganda put into making this film, so it deserves a B+ from me. A film I would recommend for next semester would be “The Bridge,” written by Tad Friend and directed by Eric Steel.
The film is about suicides on The Golden Gate Bridge. It goes into great detail about mental illness and the imbalances in the brain that can cause suicide. There is much debate on this film. The page on IMDB is full of debates, arguments and discussions about this film and the controversies that come along with it. It does have a sort of graphic element to it, because of the live suicides, but this only adds on to the shocking and eye-opening nature of the film. If I had to grade this film, I would give it an A-. It is very telling, and it makes for a great discussion.