There’s a new film about the damage caused by getting oil out of tar sands in Canada.
It’s a short, well-made documentary called “Dirty Oil”, and it was shown free at the Odeon cinema last night, the latest in a series of campaigning documentaries hosted by the Co-operative Bank.
The film, narrated by Neve Campbell (her off ‘Scream’), covers the downside of the immensely profitable business of squeezing oil out of land that used to be covered in arboreal forests (destruction of habitats, poisoned ground water, particulates in the air, more cancers downstream, the usual horrorshow but now with added takes-us-right-to-an-atmosphere-so-laden-with-carbon-that-we-will-fry-ourselves.)
It doesn’t outstay its welcome, it doesn’t insult its audience’s intelligence, and it has at least a few ‘positives’ for you to take away. It’s a far, far better effort than “the Age of Stupid.”
This was the UK launch, and it was held in 25 cinemas across the UK. There was a live video link up before and after, to the Barbican in London, where the director and one of the people in the film did a good Q and A afterwards.
The Co-op did a good thing here. This was a friendly and largely efficient operation (couple of technical glitches, but there always are…). Only one criticism, one MCFly makes all the time; events like this are great opportunities to build loose links between people who might have a lot in common/to offer each other, but never meet because of classic English reserve. So if, as one of the interviewees in the movie says, “saving civilisation is not a spectator sport”, why not break through the ‘everyone in rows looking forward’, by having the specetators turn for a couple of minutes and talk to the person behind them? Just sayin’…