Published by Gillian Gurish on 29 May 2012 at 01:20 am
When I arrived at the movie theater to view the documentary Last Call At The Oasis, I was positively dying of thirst. I’m the girl who is never seen without her reusable water bottle, but in my rush to get to the theater on time, I left it at home. So when we sauntered up to the snack counter at the Embacadero Center Cinema, I simply had to buy a bottle of water. Twenty minutes into the movie, I regretted every single bottle of water I’d ever purchased.
Produced by the same company responsible for An Inconvenient Truth and Food, Inc., this film focuses on the global water crisis and argues – quite convincingly – that we are going to have to take serious action on this issue much sooner than most of us think. And by “sooner”, I mean within this century. No horror movie comes close to evoking a fear as real as this, that we are running out of water – our very source of life.
This film doesn’t just make sweeping, grandiose statements about the dire situation we have created for our water supply; its argument is supported by an artful blend of facts and real-life depictions of communities that are already dealing with a lack of clean, potable water. It illustrates stories of families who have little to no access to clean water due to man-made problems such as industrial chemicals (think Erin Brokovich-type stories; Ms. Brokovich herself, by the way, is a featured interviewee throughout the film), then flips to clever, eye-opening statistics on water consumption and waste. While the majority of the focus is on the western part of the United States (presumably because the film’s audience is primarily American), it is made clear that this crisis is occurring all over the world.
This is a film that will force you to look at water in a completely new light. When I walked out of the theater, the first thing I did was go to the bathroom – just flushing the toilet and washing my hands felt like different actions, no longer mindless. The film is powerful in its effect, and left me with a sense of despair, fear, and even guilt – how much water do I waste in a day? How have I contributed to this mess we’re in?
BUT, this issue is not about feeling guilty – it’s about action. As the film pointed out, the glass is still half full. There are plenty of things we can do right now to turn the tide, so to speak. Check out this list of the Top 10 things you can start doing today to conserve water. Sign the petition for the Water Bill of Rights. Water isn’t something we can live without, and this is no time to pretend that this crisis is anything less than imminent.
Find local showings of the movie and more on how you can take action at takepart.com/lastcall. You can also follow the film on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. And check out this sweet infographic on the 4 main components of the water crisis – it’s enough to have you reaching for your reusable water bottle!
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