Review – Pump

Pump Poster

Pump Poster
Our dependence on oil for fuel has high costs, and I’m not just talking about the per gallon price at the station these days.  Pump takes a closer look at these costs and what has put us in this situation, while offering a clear cut solution.

Narrated by Jason Bateman, this documentary takes a look at the history of oil dependence in America.  Focusing especially on the options to choose from at the pump – or the lack thereof – and everything and everyone that has conspired (literally) against allowing the American people this choice.  Big oil is most certainly the villain in this narrative, with the automobile industry playing along as evil sidekick.

We start from the beginning when gasoline powered internal combustion was discovered to be the most cost effective option for the horseless carriage.  Despite numerous advances in alternative fuels as well as electric motors, however, this same outdated technology is what still drives us today.  Why?  It turns out there are a number of reasons, mostly boiling down to power, money, and control.  Everything is a conspiracy after all.

Made in association with the Fuel Freedom Foundation, it’s obvious this film has taken sides with an agenda to push.  For that reason, it is hard to take everything presented as indisputable fact.  There are, however, compelling arguments made and fascinating stories brought to light.  For example did you know – at least according to this film – that the whole argument that switching to ethanol or other bio-fuel negatively impacts our food supply is a story concocted by a PR firm hired by an oil conglomerate?

The negative press created regarding plant-based fuel wouldn’t be the first time alternative energy was conspired against.  A group of oil fueled companies was in fact convicted of corporate conspiracy during America’s early days of developing public transportation.  Buying up the electric trolley infrastructure across the nation, the group destroyed the street cars and replaced them with gasoline powered buses – something we still use a great deal of today.

Though one should be cautious about taking this film at face value, given its own biased connections, it is still a fascinating look at how many problems could potentially be solved by simply promoting the freedom of choice at the pump.  Even simple steps towards this end, however, seem to be stopped in all directions by people with their own interests at heart.  If even half of what is presented here is true, it should certainly make you angry at the way you have been manipulated by corporations more concerned with their bottom line than anything else.

What could easily be a dry subject or a laughable propaganda piece is earnest and intriguing.  There is a lot of easily digestible information here presented in an engaging way.  While I would encourage you to do your own research into the topics, at the very least, this film should be the key in the ignition to a larger discussion about the larger impact of oil dependence, and taking the first steps to more choices in the future.

Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film

My rating: Four out of five hats



Pump fuels a limited number of theaters, October 10

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