Oil on Ice

"Very Good"

Oil on Ice Review


During his 1988 campaign for president, George H.W. Bush made a campaign promise to open a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to new oil drilling. But just two months into his single term, an Exxon tanker called Valdez smacked into a reef and dumped somewhere north of 11 million gallons of crude onto the Alaskan coast. ANWR was, for the time being, safe from giant drills.

When the next oilman named Bush arrived in Washington 12 years later, ANWR was back on the political table, touted as the greatest boon to support American energy independence. To allay environmental fears, the energy industry spun extraction as non-invasive to native species, and even Alaska's elected representatives dismissed the ecology of ANWR as little more than lifeless white space.

Bo Boudart and Dale Djerassi's 60-minute Oil on Ice is unabashed counter-propaganda to the pro-drilling forces. Their argument is this: ANWR is absolutely teeming with life, including large caribou herds that do most of their calving in the ANWR section that's designated for drilling. Populations of native peoples rely on these caribou for their meager subsistence, and oil has already dealt these folks a double whammy with the disturbance of caribou migration patterns and climate change. Meanwhile, the oil extracted from ANWR won't contribute to American energy independence after all, because the energy companies will sell it on the world oil market; most will be bound for Asia.

The professional production makes Oil on Ice a powerful story, with astonishing wildlife photography and fascinating and tragic tales of the plights of local fishermen and native tribes that rely on conserving the land and water to survive. Particularly affecting is Adeline Peter Raboff, a Gwich'in Indian from a town inside ANWR who serves as the spiritual and historical guide to mankind's co-existence with nature inside the reserve.

Oil on Ice is also as one-sided as an episode of The O'Reilly Factor. In its purportedly macro view on the ANWR issue, including interviews with local politicians and business environmental ethicist Amory Lovins, Oil on Ice completely fails to address any positive economic impacts that the oil industry has had on Alaskans. No one except Alaska's politicians and the current President Bush appears in the film to support drilling. Are any of the Gwich'in excited about getting an oil job and out of the subsistence lifestyle? Among the sweeping beauty of the Alaskan country and wildlife, one can't escape the feeling that something has been left out.

That's counter-propaganda for you. But at least it's well-made counter-propaganda.

If anything, Oil on Ice is worth seeing just to see exactly what ExxonMobil and CononoPhillips are getting ready to tear into. Whether drilling there is a good idea or not for mankind in the long run will require a little more research.



Oil on Ice

Facts and Figures

Run time: 56 mins

In Theaters: Monday 31st May 2004

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.