Director Josh Tickell takes us along for his 11 year journey around the world to find solutions to America's addiction to oil. A shrinking economy, a failing auto industry, rampant ...
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Director Josh Tickell takes us along for his 11 year journey around the world to find solutions to America's addiction to oil. A shrinking economy, a failing auto industry, rampant unemployment, an out-of-control national debt, and an insatiable demand for energy weigh heavily on all of us. Fuel shows us the way out of the mess we're in by explaining how to replace every drop of oil we now use, while creating green jobs and keeping our money here at home. The film never dwells on the negative, but instead shows us the easy solutions already within our reach.Written by
Most of the reviews of "Fuel" rave about Josh Tickell's entertaining presentation of solutions to our global addiction to gasoline and oil. Last night's screening couldn't have been much more serendipitous for the filmmaker. I mean, let's face it, 86 days into BP's rogue well catastrophe, and it was not surprising that Florida State's Student Life auditorium was packed with a diverse group of community residents and students. It was, after all, a free screening.
"Fuel" didn't offer any solutions that haven't already been publicly addressed in a variety of ways by a number of visionaries. Relying on the filmmaker's personal journey from an undergrad thesis project that escalated into a crusade, the film came across as a tad pedestrian. Tickell's experience with alternative fuel sources as a substitute for fossil fuels is indeed impressive. It would be difficult to criticize his passion, or his mission to encourage and nurture change.
BUT, "Fuel" was entirely too precious for me to rave like the other critics. Littered with proactive celebrities like Julia Roberts, Willie Nelson, Larry David, Cheryl Crow and many others, it occurred to me that "Fuel" was way too proud of itself, and way too involved with the idea of celebrity. For someone who is presumably an activist, I wondered about all of the air miles and fuel Tickell spent courting an Irish scientist in Cork, German engineers in Europe, etc. I thought about the air miles he used to attend celebrity-filled festivals.
After I viewed "Fuel" last evening I reread Henry Adams's "The Virgin and the Dynamo" and was reminded about the consuming nature of a contemporary society that has detached itself from the Aquinas-like faith of the middle ages. Adams penned his famous chapter after attending the Paris Exhibition at the turn of the last century. The internal combustion engine (a small dynamo) was featured at the exhibit. "Fuel" devotes a segment that addresses the 1900 event, and the historical context Tickell offers is particularly compelling. The Louisiana information was also edifying.
While "Fuel" had many successful segments, it could be edited and condensed into a more meaningful film that does not require nearly two hours of air conditioned airtime. It reminded me too much of one of those Sally Struther's "Feed the Children" TV campaigns.
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