A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash A majority of North Americans depend on oil, unaware of an inevitable oil shortage that threatens to collapse our industrialized nation, in the foreseeable future. If we continue ignoring our dependence on oil and not realizing its significance in almost every part of our lives, it will be the end of our society, as we know it. The documentary A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash focuses on exposing an imminent problem. Revealing that our dependence on oil and insatiable consumption of it threatens to exceed supply, namely focusing discussions on the peak oil theory.
The film establishes that oil is a precious, non-renewable, free source of energy that we use for almost everything. The movie illustrates that oil is a catalyst for war and often holds more power than money. The film explains the peak oil theory and provides evidence of our obvious slump in oil supply versus our unquenchable demand for cheap energy. The film concludes that alternative sources of energy are “band aide” solutions at best and that ultimately if we continue down the path we now tread, without researching alternative sources of energy, life, as we know it will be unsustainable.
The directors of the film are successful in creating a convincing argument. Accomplish this by incorporating interviews with professionals whom are specialized in this area; also, the film has obvious emotional appeal using persuading imagery to influence the audiences emotions, and by developing a logical organization of the documentary. Throughout the film, the directors use various expert sources, ranging from professionals in the oil industry, to government officials to university professors. The directors’ post each sources title, causing instant credibility, because the information is from highly qualified sources in the oil industry.
These professionals relay their messages in a unpretentious way. Allowing viewers to identify with them, where in some instances these authority figures may seem “superior”, and not be as trusted. They even describe their own fears and uncertainties regarding the issue, further bridging their connection and commonality with the audience. They make a point of not pretending they know the outcomes of the predicament, providing evidence so the audience can make an informed decision for themselves. The directors make the issue personal by using emotional impact with graphics, exaggerating their point.
The directors’ choice to illustrate images of towns that were once flourishing communities, but now are baron wastelands, makes for a powerful representation. These towns once incredibly oil prosperous, now inhabitable and futile, makes the unfathomable real. It is a great tool used by the directors playing on the emotions of the audience, as the images speak for themselves. The directors portray the looming issue as having no apparent positive outcome, never “sugar coating” the evidence. Leaving the viewer with a “now what? ” sentiment.
I believe that this creates a sense of urgency and a powerful message that might encourage the audience to look to rectify the situation themselves. The film encompasses the idea of no hope for the future, unless research of alternative energy sources is initiated, resonating a strong message that serious action must be taken. The directors employ a logical structure throughout the film, making it easy to understand and follow. The film presents infinite support, good pace and great editing explaining how peak oil will affect the nations of the world.
The film follows a logical pattern, progressing from past, present to future, making it easy to follow, and making a dramatic effect. As mentioned earlier, the directors’ post the interviewees names and titles throughout the film and use a variety of evidence. This foundation of support makes a concrete argument, causing the viewer to follow the linear structure effortlessly. The film is organized under logical segments, providing a mental break between sections. These breaks are important for allowing the viewer to ponder what they have just observed.
This is imperative to not overwhelm or scaremonger the viewer; rather letting them reflect and consider the evidence throughout the film. The film was successful in convincing the audience that the issue of peak oil should be at the forefront of your consciousness, and that our insatiable dependency on oil will accelerate the fall of the epoch of cheap energy, causing our industrialized societies to become unsustainable unless we do something to repair the problem. The directors’ arguments appeal to the viewers due to the number of credible sources, the use of emotional appeal and by the great use of logical organization.
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