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Icarus Film
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Energy War
A Film by Shuchen Tan,
Ijsbrand van Veelen & Rudi Boon
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In a world in which the U.S. and Europe are addicted to oil and gas, and those increasingly scarce resources are controlled by authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia, the geopolitical ramifications have upset the traditional balance of power between nations. ENERGY WAR reveals precisely how the economic importance of fossil fuels affects international politics and becomes a powerful tool of foreign policy.

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The film profiles newly emergent "superpowers" such as Iran, a rogue regime that Western democracies must politically tolerate to assure access to its oil, and Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez has nationalized the oil industry, which boasts the largest untapped oil field in the world. Through interviews with Russian and Georgian government officials, ENERGY WAR shows how oil was used as a political weapon in the struggle between an economically revitalized Russia and its former Soviet Republic.

Thomas Friedman (author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization and The World is Flat) analyzes the political concept of "petro authoritarianism" and Kenneth Deffeyes (Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage and Beyond Oil) explains the "Peak Oil" phenomenon, the point at which the earth's supply of oil begins its terminal decline.

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ENERGY WAR concludes by investigating the search for alternatives to our dependency on oil, featuring interviews with economists, stock market traders, and new energy entrepreneurs who discuss the pros and cons of such possible substitutes and renewables as biofuels, hydropower, nuclear and solar energy. As China, Africa, Latin America and even Saudi Arabia are preparing for a "green" future, it's clear that a world of new energy sources will reshape the global balance of political power.

"Excellent... earnest and relentless... visually clever... In a time when grand amounts of attention are being paid to the environmental consequences of fossil fuel use, this documentary gives the viewer a much needed look into the worldwide daily consequences on the political level. Highly Recommended." —Michael J. Coffta, Educational Media Reviews Online

"Alerts viewers to a critical issue... recommended for public and academic libraries." —David Conn, Library Journal

"Contains the most significant material I have reviewed in more than 20 years... While intended as a plea for wise energy consumption and appropriate energy technology development, this film is a masterful demonstration of the more fundamental scientific principle of simple cause and effect." —Michele Bremer, Science Books & Films


78 minutes / color
Release: 2007
Copyright: 2007
Sale: $348

Subject areas:
Economics, Energy, Environment, Geography, Geopolitics, Globalization, International Relations, Iran, Latin America, Middle East, Oil vs. Renewables, Political Science, Politics, Russia, South America, Sustainability, Venezuela

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