Subtitled "The Oil Crash," this is, as co-director/producer Basil Gelpke puts it, "A film that promises to be a bit of a downer." He isn't really joking: the documentary looks at the amount of oil likely to be left in the ground (not much) and what preparations have been made for a post-plentiful-oil society (not many). It's a wake-up call that comes without the hope of rock-steady solutions.
Co-director/producer Ray McCormack says:
"It's a political documentary that demonstrates the world can never produce any more oil than it is producing now and looks at what this means for us all. It's all the more convincing because the people that tell us how dark the future might turn out to be are not deep greens or survivalists but political scientists, academics and even a Republican, all of whose politics could only be described as conservative."
As McCormack suggests, a few of the talking heads in the documentary are advisers to the Bush administration, or former members of OPEC, the oil exportation cartel, as well as industry analysts from the USA and the Middle East. They paint a pretty gloomy picture of a possible future, in which depleting oil resources have been ignored in favour of the ever-increasing demands of oil-dependant societies, such as the USA and Europe. These nations may soon include growing economies such as India, China and all those who seek to emulate Western standards of living. As a result, oil will become ever scarcer, and the price will shoot up, with devestating effects upon economies across the globe.
It's an informative look at the oil industry that underpins our existence, and is, in some ways, similar to what Al Gore was doing in An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps not enough time in the film is spent on discussing alternatives to oil - Gore did well at sweetening the blow of inevitable climate change by looking at ways round the energy problem - but the film is truly an eye-opener. It strikes at the very core of our fears: what will we do when - not if - the cheap oil runs out?