FILM: Last Call at the Oasis

It’s easy to take water for granted in America, even though we are totally dependent on it for survival, but as director Jessica Yu illustrates in her new film, Last Call at the Oasis, it’s an issue that will be of concern to all of us, it’s just a question of time.  The film makes an impact, even among the onslaught of social and environmental awareness documentaries that have been coming out in the past few years thanks to its staggering statistics and personal stories along with some really excellent graphics.

The film was inspired by Alex Prud’homme’s book The Ripple Effect and takes on a vast number of different issues that water is involved in from fracking, to pollution, to farming, to what might be the most pressing fact that drinkable water is quickly disappearing.  The film does a good job in juggling the different issues while keeping the information concise and palatable without overwhelming the viewer. The tone and pacing of the film is aided by very diverse speakers ranging from experts like Peter Gleick, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon to activists like Erin Brockovich and actors like Jack Black who adds a few terrific and much needed comic moments.

It’s hard not to walk away from the film frightened, even with its attempt at an optimistic ending but it’s definitely a film to be aware of especially in this season of political distractions as candidates are avoiding major issues by finding their way into America’s bedrooms.

Last Call at the Oasis opens in theaters May 4, 2012.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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