Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Last Call at the Oasis": Predicting the Coming Water Crisis 

Wednesday, May 9 2012
Comments

"We're screwed" is the overbearing subtext of so many environmental documentaries that it's a relief to hear someone just come out and say it in Last Call at the Oasis, a many-lensed look at the coming water-supply crisis. The problem is that a shruggy "we're screwed" is also an understandable response to docs, like this one, that are loaded down with doomsaying and statistics. Director Jessica Yu (In the Realms of the Unreal) uses Las Vegas as an entry point to her examination of our nature-blind habit of relying on human ingenuity to keep a growing population irrigated. An anecdotal approach keeps the pace tight: Yu moves from Vegas to Australia to Palestine to the ongoing Midwestern crusades of Erin Brockovich-Ellis, building a keen sense of a water shortage's fearsome ripple effect. If the information flows calmly and clearly, cumulatively the story feels a little scattered. Occasionally the subject hopping confuses the issue: Are we talking about overuse or poor urban planning? Drought or climate change? Pollution or the public's magical thinking? Ultimately, it's all connected, and with as fascinating and far-ranging an issue as this one, you can't fault the director for wanting to fit it all in.

About The Author

Michelle Orange

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"