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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.