(NaturalNews) While it's true that most of us generally don't want to plunk down $30-$40 at the movies to see something that lectures, preaches or wags a finger at us, every now and then there is a film that takes the high road to providing us with key information and is just too important to miss.
One such film is "Last Call at the Oasis," which began running in select theaters May 4. According to several reviews of the film, not only do some critics see it as a sure Oscar nominee, but the information it conveys could literally change the debate over one of the world's rapidly declining resources: Water.
Directed by docu-dramatist Jessica Yu ("In the Realms of the Unreal," "Protagonist"), "Last Call at the Oasis" is a "sobering but somehow upbeat examination of the looming catastrophic global water shortage," writes critic John Anderson of Variety.
Described alternately as "exhilarating," "visually engrossing," and "entertaining," the message the film presents is nonetheless dire; in the words of hydrologist Jay Famiglietti, "We're screwed."
A siren in the night
The issue of declining global water sources may not seem like something you want to take a date to see on a Friday or Saturday night, but if you're concerned about the future of this delicate resource - and every human should be, regardless of political affiliation - the film is worth seeing using that standard alone.
For example, the film notes that, at the rate the water level is declining at the Hoover Dam in Nevada, it will stop producing electricity within four years. Las Vegas, experts in the film say, is already near a state of emergency.
Yu also highlights another problem being caused by a growing number of pharmaceutical companies, which the film says are poisoning water systems across the company. One firm even makes an herbicide which can change the sex of frogs.
In Australia, livestock are dying or being killed off because of a lack of water. "Behind the often spectacular landscape photography, and a parade of spectacularly intelligent people, is a crisis of biblical proportions," says Variety.
There are a number of villains Yu points to as being most responsible for the problem. Among them is former Vice President Dick Cheney's company, Halliburton, which she maintains has been allowed to avoid reporting on the kinds of chemicals it uses in hydraulic "fracking," a procedure which uses water to split rock so energy companies can gain access to trapped natural gas.
Government isn't spared, either. Yu hammers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its lack of regulations to better protect drinking water supplies.
The San Francisco Chronicle describes the film as an "insightfully scary look at our dwindling water supply."
"Things are bad. Global warming is evaporating some of it, rising populations are using more of it, and industrial chemicals are seeping into the rest of it," the paper says. "Among the many questions raised - will California become the new Australia? Erin Brockovich and, improbably, Jack Black are along for the globe-trotting ride, and Yu keeps things moving along at a brisk pace."
The New York Times calls it a film that is "informative, fast-moving and scary."
The bottom line is, there is a bottom to the world's supply of this most precious commodity, even though most people tend to think of water as an infinite, somehow regenerating resource.
In fact, as early as 2004 a leaked Pentagon document warned that the world could be brought to "the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies."
Global climate change - not despotic rulers - will lead the conflicts.
"Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life [...] Once again, warfare would define human life," the report says.