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A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

Basil Gelpke & Ray McCormack / Switzerland / 2006 / 85 ' / English


Georgia Wyss, Florian Nussbaumer, Esther Winter & Michael Hertig
Basil Gelpke & Ray McCormack
Frank Messmer, Daniel Pfisterer, Jim Bowen, Tim Kos, Richard Grell & David Merkofer
Robert Porter
Heinz Kurz
Basil Gelpke, Ray McCormack, Linda Litowsky, Florian Nussbaumer & Gabriela Padron
Archive Research: Ulrich Tilgner
Archive Research: Steve Mencher
Archive Research: Linda Litowsky
Archive Research: Basil Gelpke
Archive Research: Daniel Richtman
Archive Research: Dave Room

Awards & Festivals

2007 Winner, Barcelona Cinema Festival, Jury's Prize "Golden Sun"
2006 2nd Place, Galway Film Fleadh, Documentary Award
2006 Winner, Palm Beach International Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature
2006 Winner, Tahoe Reno International Film Festival, Best of Fest / Wake-up call
2006 Winner, Zurich Film Awards, Zurich Film Award

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In Production

A 90- minute documentary on the planet's dwindling oil resources.


OilCrash, produced and directed by award-winning European journalists and filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, tells the story of how our civilization’s addiction to oil puts it on a collision course with geology. Compelling, intelligent, and highly entertaining, the film visits with the world’s top experts and comes to a startling, but logical conclusion – our industrial society, built on cheap and readily available oil, must be completely re-imagined and overhauled. The idea that the world’s oil supplies have peaked, or will soon, is gaining mainstream currency. Robert B. Semple, Jr., associate editor of the New York Times editorial board, writes in the paper’s March 1, 2006, online edition: “The Age of Oil — 100-plus years of astonishing economic growth made possible by cheap, abundant oil — could be ending without our really being aware of it. Oil is a finite commodity. At some point even the vast reservoirs of Saudi Arabia will run dry. But before that happens there will come a day when oil production ‘peaks,’ when demand overtakes supply (and never looks back), resulting in large and possibly catastrophic price increases that could make today's $60-a-barrel oil look like chump change. Unless, of course, we begin to develop substitutes for oil. Or begin to live more abstemiously. Or both. The concept of peak oil has not been widely written about. But people are talking about it now. It deserves a careful look — largely because it is almost certainly correct.” Semple concludes: “These [are] not doomsday scenarios from conspiracy theorists, but hard scientific facts backed by serious research.” You needn’t be a conspiracy theorist to see a connection between America’s current obsessions with the Middle East and national security, and the world’s looming oil crisis. The frenzied search for alternative sources of energy now being pursued by the largest multinational energy corporations makes it clear they also believe a crisis is fast approaching. Each day’s headlines, whether the subject is Iraq or South America, sheds new light on the issue.


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