Documentary fuels ‘green’ oil debate

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to fuel

FUEL

DIRECTOR: Josh Tickell

CAST: Josh Tickell, Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crowe, Richard Branson

CLASSIFICATION: A

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes

RATING: ***

SLICK and tugging at the heart strings, this documentary tracks the path of oil – or more specifically America’s dependence on fossil fuel. It starts off with an explanation of how oil was created thousands of years ago, how it is mined today, used and wasted.

Above all, the documentary tracks the money generated by big business on the back of oil production, specifically as it pertains to America.

Narrated by director Josh Tickell, who uses his own life’s path as bio-fuel proponent and environmental activist for a story thread, it tracks the ups and downs of bio-fuel.

Born in Australia to a Cajun mother and Aussie father, he and his family eventually relocated to the Louisiana bayou where he found life along the Mississippi to be very different.

Specifically he draws the link between the diesel engine’s original juice of choice – creator Rudolf Diesel invented the engine to run off agricultural oil – and how the technology was subverted by then Standard Oil.

While the US consumes 25 percent of the oil produced globally, it only produces two percent thereof and its constant drive to consume more and more affects the world.

The film is peppered with facts and figures like this, but using his own story humanises it and stops it from becoming a boring statistical analysis.

Tickell does also eventually venture outside America to take a look at what countries in Europe are doing to become more environmentally cons-cious and break the cycle of destroying their local ecologies without breaking the bank.

He talks a lot about how a change in mindset is what is required and this film is very much aimed at an American audience.

It features interviews with a combination of scientists, celebrities who are also environmental activists and normal people.

But, it isn’t just bad news because he also gives some practical ideas for how people can change on an individual level – ideas which can be applied in any place in the world.

While all this information is freely available with a bit of effort, the documentary puts it together in such a way that you can see how interdependent the world is and why you should care about America’s dependence on fossil fuel. It presents a cogent argument for the cause, but the kind of person who will go and watch an documentary entitled Fuel is already thinking about what they can do.

The person who makes decisions on a governmental scale – that’s who should be watching it.

If you liked ... An Inconvenient Truth… you will like this.


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