Obviously I need to watch movies faster. Almost a year ago today I posted about wanting to watch Manufactured Landscapes, featuring the work of photographer Edward Burtynsky, mainly shot in China. I finally got around to it.
Not only is the movie visually arresting, but it is very, very disturbing.
Surprisingly to me, the sparse narration includes a pretty good description of peak oil.
The filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal, shows some incredible aerial shots of a ginormous highway octopus interchange and Burtynsky talks about what he calls his "oil epiphany" while he was driving one day, when he realized that nearly everything surrounding him was made from or derived from oil — the plastic steering wheel, the paints on the car, the asphalt, the auto glass (heated with oil), etc. etc. He said we’re either at peak oil or nearing it, and we simply won’t be able to get the oil we’re used to having (all this while incredible footage is going by).
That follows scenes of shipbreaking in Bangladesh, some of the most feudal-looking work imaginable, including young men scraping bunker oil out of the holds of these giant ships while dressed in rags.