Posted by: Mike Grenville | 29 October 2008

Film Review: Blind Spot

Until recently there were few films about Peak Oil, but now there are a number of good ones available. and one might ask if we need another.

My favourite join the dots movie is ‘What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire‘ which while it might seem at times like an assault on the senses, and while it definitely does not have a ‘happy’ chapter, it ends positively with very transition sympathetic advice which is to get talking about the situation.

By looking at the wider effects of the oil industry, Crude Impact is also a favourite of mine. As well as Peak Oil, it covers for example the pollution in Ecuador and the suppression of the Ngoni people and execution Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria.

More recently Leonardo DiCaprio produced ‘The 11th Hour‘ which looks at both Peak Oil and Climate Change. See The 11th Hour trailer on YouTube here.

Filmed in 2007 and just released is Blind Spot, a film that looks at the cultural dimensions of Peak Oil and the social challenges in trying to get society to change course.

The film interviews 18 scientists and writers who address the consequences of fossil fuel dependence, Peak Oil and widespread consumer denial. It considers how we have become so blind to the limits of oil flow and the challenges faced by those trying to wake up those around them. Evolutionary Biologist Jason Bradford points out that there is a cultural constraint on change and how tough it can be for those that can see the need for change and challenge the status quo.

Its easy to see why the current oil consuming lifestyle is so compulsive as Richard Heinberg points out that one gallon of petrol gives the energy equivalent to about 6-8 weeks of hard human labour.

As well exploring Peak Oil, Blind Spot branches into energy’s impact on food, the economy and, ultimately, human survival. Author of Endgame Derick Jensen makes the stark point that rational people go quietly, meekly to the end of the world if only you allow them to belive that buying energy saving lightbulbs is going to save the day.

While the film does not touch at all on how we might get ourselves out of our mess, by starting to raise some of the cultural issues around the situation we are in, Blind Spot is a useful addition to the collection of Peak Oil awareness raising films.

Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature”, who appears in the film, said about the film that “The next few decades aren’t going to look like the last few-not at all. And the sooner we come to terms with that, the better. This documentary is a good place to start.”

The DVD is available for purchase here from FilmBaby for US$16 plus $7 international postage.

There are a number of clips from the film on the website: www.blindspotdoc.com and you can see the Trailer on YouTube:

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Responses

  1. Rob Hopkins has written a less enthusiastic review of Blind Spot here
    http://transitionculture.org/2008/11/26/film-review-blind-spot/

    There is a good collection of Peak Oil related films and shorts here:

    http://www.peakaware.com/

    Another interesting collection of films here
    http://www.hopedance.org

  2. I am so glad that SOMEONE also likes the film What a Way to go! IT is such an emotional and deep film, it tends to scare people off, but the impact of the film profound – and it needs to be seen 3 or 4 times.
    Looking forward to seeing the Blind Spot

  3. Haven’t seen Blind Spot but have a copy ordered. Hopefully better than Rob Hopkin’s assessment otherwise I’ll have wasted my money :^(

    As for “What a Way to Go” I only know one person who didn’t like it. Almost everyone else I know who’s seen it thinks it’s great. The film makers even have advice on their web site for a community screening and discussion after the film:

    http://whatawaytogomovie.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/postscreendial8407update.doc


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