Erin Brockovich gets passionate about wasting water.
LAST CALL AT THE OASIS (Jessica Yu). 99 minutes. Opens Friday (May 25). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
If you can drink bottled water after watching Jessica Yu's Last Call At The Oasis, your capacity for denial is spectacular.
In addition to reminding us all that bottled water is the most obscene example of corporate appropriation of a public resource - since its marketing subtly suggests that free tap water is somehow less safe or pure, when the opposite is almost always true - Yu's enviro doc explores the developed world's coming freshwater crisis, which is expected to hit harder than the end of oil. (Not everyone drives, but everyone gets thirsty.)
Using Alex Prud'homme's book The Ripple Effect as a jumping-off point, Yu (In The Realms Of The Unreal) starts with a macro look at America's heedless water consumption over the decades, which led to the urbanization of unsuitable environments (like, say, Las Vegas) and a generally cavalier attitude to conservation and environmental protection.
The doc puts a human face on its issues through the work of citizen activists like Erin Brockovich, who's still fighting David-and-Goliath battles against toxic dumping and water contamination.
Yu isn't out to depress us with a message of doom, and includes a fun sequence in which Jack Black is enlisted as a celebrity spokesman for recycled water to help people over the "yuck factor." He's laughing on the edge of the abyss - but of course, we all are.