H2oil

Synopsis: Moving between a local microcosm and the global oil crisis, H2Oil weaves together a collection of compelling stories of people who are at the front lines of the biggest industrial project in human history: Canada's tar sands. H2Oil is a feature-length documentary that traces the wavering balance between the urgent need to protect and preserve fresh water resources and the mad clamoring to fill the global demand for oil. It is a film that asks: what is more important, water or oil? Will the quest for profit overshadow efforts to protect public health and the environment in Canada's richest province?
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Shannon Walsh, Alan Kohl (co-director)
 
IMDB:
7.0
Rotten Tomatoes:
14%
Year:
2009
76 min
24 Views

When the war in Iraq began

the price of oil soared,

Oil was discovered in Canada.

Everyone knew it was there.

But it became a part of

the global reserve.

It is considered

as the greatest oil deposit

in the world today.

These are the tar sands.

Digging the bitumen

out of the ground

and converting it into synthetic

crude is a monumental challenge.

It requires huge capital

highly sophisticated technology

and thousands of

skilled workers.

In short, it is a great enterprise

comparable to the construction

pyramids

or the Great Wall

China only bigger.

This is the biggest

unsustainable development

on the planet.

I am very proud to see

a dynamic and growing

economy in Alberta

that benefits all of Canada.

I will not put

that at risk.

I will not put

the oil sands at risk.

I really do feel

hurt in some way

that we are selling

out our land

for industry

and economic growth.

Like I said last night,

economic development,

and economic boom,

is going to be

a great economic disaster,

and the destruction of our land

and our people.

Alberta is located

on one of the largest

recoverable oil fields

in the world

second only to Saudi Arabia.

Stretching over 149 000 km

an area larger than England,

it contains at least 175 billion

barrels of bitumen

found in the boreal forest,

Slough and rivers.

To access

this sandy tar-like substance

the land which the industry calls

overburden

is removed and stored

to be retrieved later.

Cranes and 400 ton trucks

transport the bitumen

to the extraction plants

where in order to separate

the sand from the bitumen

It is mixed with large amounts of

fresh water heated by natural gas.

It is then spun

with a chemical solvent

to remove clay

and minerals,

leaving the wastewater

to be dumped

into enormous toxic

settling ponds.

The bitumen is then sent

into pipelines

to be processed into crude oil

throughout North America.

Fort Chip is unique

in politics

because of the two First

Nations and Mtis group

that are here in Fort Chip.

Our ancestors have lived here

for thousands of years.

We consider this region

as our homeland.

And Fort Chipewyan

is also our homeland.

The community of Fort Chip

receives all the pollution

that is thrown into the river.

The government will say: "Ah!

We have consultedwith you! "

No, you never did.

Industry consulted with us.

It is a third party.

We're talking about land,

water, air. Everything.

Let's be very clear.

Alberta will not close the door

to future investments.

We want to create a

environment and economy

that are virbant

and that we can leave

to our children and our grandchildren.

The bitumen buried

in the boreal forest of Alberta

is being mined from surface.

To access the bitumen,

whole forests are cut down

and the top soil is scraped away,

transforming a once lush region

into a vast moonscape.

At some point,

something will go wrong

and people will

have to move away from here

for their own good.

Compensation.

Is that going to help?

For what?

For whom?

Right now as we speak,

my brother

has cancer, colon cancer.

So...

What is making people

Fort Chipewyan sick?

The people there believe they know:

Pollution from the oil sands.

According to a study by a

oil companies

there could be 400

times more arsenic

than the legal limit

in moose meat,

which causes cancer.

People suspected something

was wrong

because of the number of

relatives dying of cancer.

I do not know when we wil get the results

but I hope it will be soon.

If my mother has to undergo chemo

and radiotherapy,

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Shannon Walsh

Shannon Walsh is a Canadian filmmaker, writer and scholar. She has directed three feature documentaries H2Oil (2009), À St-Henri, le 26 août (2011) and Jeppe on a Friday (2013).Walsh, who was born in London, Ontario, Canada, is also an academic, and teaches film production at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Theatre and Film. She is the editor, along with Jon Soske, of Ties that Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa published in 2016. more…

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