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The Summer Season Opens With a Big Bang

(excerpt from The Telluride Watch)

Finally, my personal favorite of the weekend was a sleeper that aired only once in the lovely and intimate Peaks theater (with its swank couches and padded leather chairs) and then only on the very last day – the world premiere of Dale Djerassi and Bo Doudart’s Oil On Ice, produced in association with Steve Michelson’s Lobitos Creek Ranch studio in Northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.

…In it, we hear firsthand from Alaska’s Gwich’in people about the madness of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to industrial oil extraction. Their very way of life depends on the Porcupine River caribou herd. The film transports us there, weaving fact and footage, so that we too can witness the wild exuberance of the tundra, teeming with summer life. Vast caribou herds on the move. The towering Brooks Range backdrop to the coastal plain. And then we zoom back to the nation’s Capitol to see Alaskan politicians at their worst, pandering misrepresentations on the Senate floor or walking off in rude avoidance of indigenous concerns … In the process of exploring ANWR, the filmmakers fashion a context for the debate about our culture’s dependence on oil.

We learn about global warming and see the melting permafrost, learn about the hope of alternative energy development and see the lingering effects of the Exxon Valdez disaster – where the herring stocks still haven’t recovered 18 years later and pockets of tidal oil continue to kill marine life … I can think of no better teaching tool to understand the “ethnospheric” criminality of opening up the refuge’s Area 1002 to drilling than this film. Moving, lucid and aptly told, Oil On Ice is quite simply the best documentary to date on the ANWR issue. And beyond the politics, expect your people compass to be pulled north, magnetized by the observations of folks like Gwich’in elder Adeline Peter Raboff, singing us back into the mystery of a place too few know and even fewer understand.

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"Moving, lucid and aptly told, Oil on Ice
is quite simply the best documentary
to date on the [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] issue."

-Art Goodtimes The Telluride Watch



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