Movies That Matter Presents
Last Call at the Oasis
Join us on Tuesday, February 19 at 4:30 pm for director Jessica Yu’s Last Call at the Oasis, a compelling 2011 documentary exploring the global water crisis. As the LA Times explains, “Last Call at the Oasis is a playful title for a film that couldn’t be more deadly serious…this documentary tells you to be afraid, very afraid. Make no mistake, the film says, water is about to become more valuable than oil — it’s the element the wars of the 21st century will be fought over.“
Because America has had ample water until now, we tend to be spoiled, blasé and unaware when it comes to the international water situation. We use too much water as well as foul what we use. Though the crisis is global, Last Call focuses primarily on situations in the U.S. The first case study is Las Vegas, a city that has grown more than its water supply can support and that is rapidly emptying Lake Mead. Then we visit California, where there is simply not enough water to do everything everybody wants. As UC Irvine scientist James Famiglietti puts it, “we think we have a right to as much water as we can get our hands on,” which has led among other things to a frightening depletion of the state’s vast aquifer.
Last Call also illustrates how industrial pollution is fouling what little water we have. Erin Brockovich is still fighting hexavalent chromium pollution, this time in Midland, Texas; Tyrone Hayes has discovered that Atrazine contamination was intense enough to change male frogs into females; and Michigan water activist Lynn Henning is trying to stop concentrated animal feeding operations that spread toxic waste. As for the Environmental Protection Agency, which is supposed to help us combat all this, the agency is, Brockovich claims, “understaffed, overburdened and broke.”
Don’t miss this film and the lively post-screening discussion it will surely provoke.