Are We Really spOILed?

A pumpjack in Texas The documentary film spOILed debuted last week in Denver to a private crowd hosted by the city’s petroleum club, which was greeted with cheers and applause as the film gushed to a start. Director Mark Mathis delivered a truthful and resonating film from the perspective of a realist who journeyed to discover the truth about oil. As a born and bred local of Colorado and an energy enthusiast I was pleased to experience a realistic and balanced perspective on oil production.

From the onset, the film is catchy and interrupting. Mathis’ story line delivers you to logical points and in an instant flashes you back in time to iconic moments in history as a reminder of how quickly our perception of oil has changed. His clip composition is timed perfectly to anticipate the moments when the viewer may be thinking, “but…"

From Greenpeace to industry insiders, Mathis interviews a gamut of individuals with a vested interest in the production of oil. While the U.S. doesn’t have an energy policy, everybody has an opinion on what it should be. Like Gasland, spOILed is sure to receive attention regarding Mathis’ “ honest discussion on energy.” The film serves as a reminder about how we came to use oil, how oil has revolutionized our world and our lifestyles as well as the results of cutting off oil production completely. It begs to the absurdity of not knowing the intrinsic connections and value that oil affords us, and how far-reaching our dependence is. spOILed reminds viewers that while figuring out an alternative solution to oil is important we can’t just sever our life line to the fuel without consequences.

English: United States petroleum production an...

Living as Americans we have come to appreciate and take for granted the freedoms and choices that are provided to us daily. Our forefathers in a quest to develop a system for free people outlined a set of laws that helped us pursue life, liberty and happiness. These freedoms have allowed us to watch the sunset from our beach bungalows, cozy up to the fireplaces in our mountain homes and drink wine on the porches of our cottages; due in part to the innovations and discoveries years ago spurred by the discovery of oil.

Like residents living on the coasts or across the plains, I too appreciate the daily aesthetics’ that living in Denver and the state of Colorado allow to me. There is nothing like watching the sun set over the mountains, enjoying the outdoors and breathing the fresh Rocky Mountain air at 5,000 feet. I am also acutely aware of the blessings I count for myself in the form of a great place to live, a hot shower in the morning, a reliable car and an iPod that like me runs for hours so that I can be alone with my thoughts, which hopefully come out as good writing when I finally get to typing on my Mac. I also know that these same blessings are the result of American discovery, innovation and ingenuity forged as a direct result of our use of oil.

Mathis’ documentary while of course focused on oil, presents a logical look into the world of oil production and asks viewers to be rational when discussing it and its alternatives. Whether you are a fan of renewable energy or fossil fuels you need to see the film spOILed to really understand both sides or at least to have a rationale conversation on how our society can cut back on its oil dependence without eliminating it completely.