Oil on Ice is a documentary that examines the the battle over oil development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is a classic struggle in a stunning place, featuring the dramatic wildlife that adapted to this environment and the cultures of the Gwich’in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos that rely on this wildlife for their subsistence.
This film exposes the risks of oil extraction in this extreme environment. What happens if another oil spill occurs on the coastal plain or under an ice-covered Beaufort Sea? How can one rationalize development of irreplaceable wilderness areas or ignore the cultural survival of indigenous populations? Already, Eskimo residents and leaders of the North Slope Borough are criticizing the impacts of oil development to their lands and their seas. Gwich’in Indian residents of Arctic Village, on the southern boundary of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, fear their community’s caribou hunting will be severely impacted by oil development in the Refuge.
This film also examines the effects that improved fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and development of alternative sources of energy will have on this nation’s oil consumption. The issue of oil extraction from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge brings to a sharp focus the broader debate over energy conservation vs. unbridled consumption. It also dramatizes the choice between technologies based on fossil fuels and those that draw upon renewable, efficient, and non-polluting energy resources. Humanity does not need to destroy an irreplaceable wilderness in order to generate power, heat homes, and travel about. The new paradigm is a mode of living with the Earth rather than extracting from the Earth.
Run time: 90 minutes
Dirt! The Movie--directed and produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow--takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth's most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility--from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.
The opening scenes of the film dive into the wonderment of the soil. Made from the same elements as the stars, plants and animals, and us, "dirt is very much alive." Though, in modern industrial pursuits and clamor for both profit and natural resources, our human connection to and respect for soil has been disrupted. "Drought, climate change, even war are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt."
Dirt! the Movie--narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis--brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.
Dirt! the Movie is simply a movie about dirt. The real change lies in our notion of what dirt is. The movie teaches us: "When humans arrived 2 million years ago, everything changed for dirt. And from that moment on, the fate of dirt and humans has been intimately linked." But more than the film and the lessons that it teaches, Dirt the Movie is a call to action.
"The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again."
What we've destroyed, we can heal.
Run time: 80 minutes
The Cove begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O’Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation "Flipper."
But his close relationship with those dolphins – the very dolphins who sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day -- led O’Barry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast.
But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and "Keep Out" signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling -- and the consequences are so dangerous to human health -- they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it.
Undeterred, O’Barry joins forces with filmmaker Louis Psihoyos and the Oceanic Preservation Society to get to the truth of what’s really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. With the local Chief of Police hot on their trail and strong-arm fishermen keeping tabs on them, they will recruit an "Ocean's Eleven"-style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers who will carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while playing a cloak-and-dagger game with those who would have them jailed. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope.
The Cove is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPre Pesman and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.
Run time: 90 minutes
The Myths of Biofuels is a video production of a presentation made by David Fridley (of Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and San Francisco Oil Awareness) given to the public by Post Carbon Santa Clara Valley on June 7, 2007. Mr. Fridley has been concerned about the potential effects of petrolium depletion (peak oil) for a number of years and has done extensive work in this area.
Topics covered in The Myths of Biofuels include:
Run time: 1 hour and 29 minutes