Dir: Jessica Yu. US. 2012. 105mins
While it might be easy to lump Jessica Yu’s film with the plethora of ‘big issue’ films out in the marketplace, in truth Last Call At The Oasis is a thoughtful and cogent film that demands to be watched…and even more importantly deserves to be absorbed and acted on.
The film is peppered with strong use of graphics which help drive the point home impressively.
Inspired by Alex Prud’homme’s book, The Ripple Effect: the Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century, the film displays how close to home the realities of issues around water supplies actually are. Yes it details the issues in the Third World, but showing the impact on the US itself could help make the film intriguing for Western film distributors, while sales to broadcasters is an obvious route.
Last Call At The Oasis screened at the Toronto film festival and showed in the Culinary section of the Berlin Film Festival.
The film’s lush footage of the faux-Venetian canals in Las Vegas and the general profligacy of water usage in the city leads into some stark truths about the impact on reservoirs, while other sections detail the impact on agriculture, fishing and the general safety of drinking water.
This leads into an extended section with real-life campaigner Erin Brockovich (accompanied with a few extracts of Julia Roberts paying her in the film of her life) doing what she does best by gathering evidence and railing against the authorities.
The film is peppered with strong use of graphics which help drive the point home impressively, and makes good use of contributions from a series of other experts – such as Dr Peter Gleick, James S Famiglietti, Robert Glennon, Pat Mulroy, Tyrone Hayes and author Alex Prud’homme – as they offer up sobering details of the state of water supply on the planet.
Production company: Participant Media
International sales: Ealing Studios International, www.ealingmetro.com
Producer: Elise Pearlstein
Executive producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Carol Baum, David Helpern
Cinematography: Jon Else
Editor: Kim Roberts
Music: Jeff Beal
With: Erin Brockovich, Dr Peter Gleick, James S Famiglietti, Robert Glennon, Pat Mulroy, Tyrone Hayes, Alex Prud’homme, Tim Barnett