Directors Dale Djerassi and Bo Boudart cover a lot of tundra in Oil
on Ice
, a wide-ranging look into the controversial proposal to allow oil drilling
in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. On the ground in ANWR with the people
who know it best — conservationists and the members of the Gwich’n Indian nation
who live along the refuge’s borders — Djerassi and Boudart put personal faces
and stories to potent images of the region’s rugged beauty and diverse wildlife.
A portrait emerges of two intertwined cultures, each struggling to sustain itself
on limited resources. For the Gwich’n, hunting and fishing at ANWR’s edges supplement
meager incomes, while for the larger United States, it’s oil that drives, well,
everything. This familiar story is told here with added urgency, not only because
Congress will take up the ANWR issue again after its summer recess, but because
the Arctic region, like the proverbial canary in our planetary coal mine, is already
experiencing the adverse effects of global climate change — evidence that makes
the arguments of the pro-drilling lobby appear increasingly bankrupt. (Djerassi
and Boudart capture a particularly shameful performance by Alaskan Senator Ted
Stevens, who dismisses a Gwich’n activist on the Capitol steps with a paternalistic
reference to Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend.) In the face of such arrogance,
Oil on Ice makes the case for alternative fuels and cleaner vehicles as
an option to drilling. It’s an optimistic faith in new technologies exemplified
in the DVD itself: Released by Lightyear Entertainment, the disc comes with a
complete activist tool kit as part of its CD-ROM features.
Other recommended new releases: The Lina Wertmüller Collection: Swept Away,
Seven Beauties, The Nymph, Summer Night, Ferdinando and Carolina
(DVD); The
Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
VHS-DVD: Because of Winn-Dixie.
DVD: The Big Black Comedy Show, Vol. 3; The Bottom of the Sea; Brides of Christ;
Cartoon Network Halloween, Vol. 2: Grossest Halloween Ever; Chekhovian Motifs;
Children in the Crossfire; Columbo: Season 3; The Crazy Stranger; Crime and Punishment;
Dallas: The Complete Third Season; The David Steinberg Show; Hush . . . Hush Sweet
Charlotte; In Old Chicago; John Cleese’s Wine for the Confused; The Lady With
the Little Dog; Laura Lansing Slept Here; A Married Man; Merci Docteur Rey!; Mrs.
Delafield Wants To Marry; Murder, She Wrote: Season 2; Nobody’s Child; Oh Heavenly
Dog; Railway Station for Two; The Rites of Frankenstein; Roswell: Season 3; Ruth
Rendell Mysteries: Road Rage & Simisola; The Simpsons: Season 6; Slave of Love;
The Station Master’s Wife; Teletubbies: All Together Teletubbies: Playful, Pals
and Delightful Days!; Teletubbies: Time for Teletubbies; Three Men and a Cradle;
Thundercats: Season 1, Vol. 1; What’s New Scooby-Doo?, Vol. 6: Monster Matinee;
WWII 60th Anniversary.

LA Weekly