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Blind Spot
Blind Spot
Director: Adolfo Doring
Genres: Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 26min

BLIND SPOT is a documentary that establishes the inextricable link between the energy we use, the way we run our economy and the effect it has had on our environment. Taking as a starting point the inevitable energy deplet...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Adolfo Doring
Creators: Adolfo Doring, Amanda Zackem, David Gil
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Indieblitz Releasing
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 10/31/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

This sleeper is still the best film on Peak Oil
Randall Wallace | San Francisco, CA | 09/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blind Spot was directed by this easy-going hard-working team of adolfo and amanda who patiently put together the first peak oil film to seriously discuss "overshoot" and "carrying capacity" - two of the most important concepts any world citizen should know. william catton's monumental book overshoot finally makes it's first appearance in a film as william catton, and later in the film, mathematics professor albert bartlett show how ignoring population and simple exponential math will, unchecked, destroy western civilization and alarmingly soon. oil is a one-time resource. use once and it's gone. millions of years at the right heat and pressure to make and it will be too expensive to extract by 2100 because no one wanted to save it for grandchildren or use it sparingly. 2005 was probably the year of peak oil; that means that half of all the oil in history (the EASY to get half) is now gone. thus the end of cheap energy. without fossil fuels the world could support one billion, maybe 2.5 billion, depending on who you ask. so this century (of peak oil, peak uranium, peak coal, peak everything) the world's population must go down quite a few billion whether we like it or not, or there WILL be a massive die-off this century.

when the first barrel of american oil was extracted in the 19th century, the EROI (energy returned on investment) was a whopping 100 to 1. civilization needs a ratio of 10 to one to survive. put a dollar in the ground and out comes 10 dollars of fossil fuel. the EROI ratio of oil is now at 20 to 1. there will always be oil in the ground. it will just take more money to pump it than it is worth. ethanol is a best 2.5 to 1. thus ethanol could only be a drag on civilization due simply to a shamefully low EROI (and you would have to plant only ethanol and have no food or people everywhere). when the EROI of oil falls below 10, the threshold of civilization, and it will this century, then the real fun begins. because few people are planning for this or thinking about anything other than britney spears and the michael jackson tributes few things will change in time. when your car is going to crash and you are driving, the smart thing to do is to respond. all of us must educate ourselves fast -and respond.

great interviews with richard heinberg, matt savinar, william catton, roscoe bartlett, albert bartlett, mary-anne hitt, bill mckibben, and even derrick jensen. nobody seems to want to cover derrick jensen and he's such a huge influence on the whole movement (check out his non-fiction books on civilization on amazon - amazing). derrick says some great stuff in this movie and it pretty much begins and ends with derrick. some illiterate in england complained that this movie had no women interviewed. i thought that's pretty insulting to mary anne hitt of appalachian voices who discusses mountaintop removal & coal. i also saw the reviews:

official selection london independent film festival 2008
official selection woodstock film festival 2008

howard zinn: "i was transfixed by it."
laura flanders: "beautiful images, gorgeous soundtrack"
bill mc kibben: "the next few decades aren't going to look like the last few - not at all. and the sooner we come to terms with that, the better. this documentary is a good place to start."
john stauber: "beautiful, crucial, straightfoward, brilliantly woven images and music."

"BLIND SPOT is a documentary that illustrates the current energy crisis that our way of life is facing. whatever measures of greed, wishful thinking, neglect or ignorance, we have put ourselves at a crossroad which offers two paths, both with dire consequences. if we continue to burn fossil fuels we will choke the life out of our planet and if we don't our way of life will collapse"
-on the dvd case

the title of the film comes from william catton's wife who once paused and said to adolfo, "you know, i think it's actually the world's blind spot" - people cannot see the relationship between energy and population. we have temporarily extend the world's carrying capacity for human population for two hundred years through the one time use of fossil fuels, when the fossil fuels go this century it will be the end of a lot of things. in my lifetime i will see the end of the growth economy (you can't have infinite growth on a finite planet), the return to community, local foods, local economy, less travel, and i'll probably be using 90% less energy than presently (whether i like it or not). i give this film the highest recommendation to anyone who wants to understand the crushing triple problem: climate change, end of cheap energy, end of cheap natural resources (water, copper, platinum, indium). the problem isn't global warming. the problem is global warming plus peak oil plus resource depletion. and even if americans do everything right and corporations and the world helps, it may not matter, because the profligate use of energy (not to mention the environmental cost - blanketing irag in tons of depleted uranium that will continue to poison iraq's citizens for 4.5 billion years- making d.u. affected u.s. soldiers end out their lives in diapers and on morphine) by the U.S. military assures that it (more than the rest of us) will make the war on climate change unwinnable unless the war machine is stopped (since WWII we have known that economies stay alive by the stimulation of a raging war, so expect resistance repackaged again as patriotism). see AK presses great new book (green zone: the environmental costs of militarism by barry saunders). But it starts with Blind Spot. get a copy and share it with others."
Another gentle reminder, we consume a lot of natural resourc
Daniel G. Lebryk | 11/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an interesting film made in the mold of a Nova / PBS or Discovery Channel scientific discussion program. It is very simple, shot on high definition video, features talking heads intercut with slow loping images of cities (I recognized Portland, Denver, Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York City) and the countryside.

The primary point of this film is something said about three quarters of the way through the film. An older commentator talks about how he worked on iron ore freighters when he dropped out of college. He remembered hauling iron ore from the mine down to the steel mill where the ore was melted and turned into steel. He wondered if we would ever run out of iron ore. He decided not to worry about that because there are smart people in Washington who will see the depletion coming and do things to slow down our consumption. He grew up, studied, and realized how wrong he was about smart people doing something.

In the end, the film is about the blind spot, not seeing, the rate at which we are depleting natural resources and polluting the world; and then doing nothing about the problem. It's a very simple premise, presented with fairly simple logic, and simply says, pay attention and reduce consumption.

The film took a very long time to engage me. I'm not sure I necessarily agreed with everything that was said, some things seemed monumentally obvious, and others smacked of unfounded conspiracy theory (one commentator said that the oil companies and the auto companies got together and conspired to do something). At about the midpoint, the film really turned around. People talked about more direct things and posed thought provoking questions. By the final act, I was hooked and think I understood the director's point.

From a film standpoint some of the video is grossly over exposed with highlights very badly blown out to pure white. Overall the camera work is steady and smooth. The interviews are well lit and recorded. Only one interview was annoying with tons of backgroun noise. Each person is talking directly to the camera. It's all monumentally simple cinema that is frequently done poorly in other films.

The ending was a bit on the 'hit me over the head with a ton of bricks side.' The last person is interviewed. His last few sentences are voice over for some kind of outdoor plumbing nightmare. The words are repeated from very early on in the film, and have to do with eliminating the human race. Very serene slow music ramps up and the camera ever so slowly starts to pan down and then zoom into the white valve. About halfway in, there is a dead bird laying on the valve. The camera continues to zoom in until the dead bird fills the frame (this all takes around 2 minutes), then slowly racks out of focus, and then fades to black. The ending is way too melodramatic, too far over the top, and a needless ending to the film.

The DVD includes only the film with a chapter menu. There are no alternate soundtracks and no bonus features.

This is a reasonable thought provoking film. Even if you do not buy into everything presented, it is very hard to deny that we are consuming the earth's resources at a very high rate that cannot be sustained. And ultimately we should do something about that consumption. I enjoyed the film from that perspective.
It's Do or Die Time.
R. A. Barricklow | Las Vegas NV USA | 01/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In this film you'll find that are core causes to the crisis were in. There is also a deeper story of how humanity turned from partnership relations to organizations of dominator hierarchies. About five thousand years ago we started by these hierarchical structures, and when you organize by those structures, you have a few people at the top & a lot of people on the bottom. There is a HUGE disparity between them. This creates an enormous competition for positions of power, and that dynamic becomes imperative
to maintain the system, to appropiate more & more resources to maintain that struture of dominance, to maintain the militarty forces, to maintain order, to maintain the byzantium bureaucracy, to maintain the priesthoods that develope the ideology & religion that legitimize the KINGS over the serfs. This has played out for over five thousand years and evolved through the city/states, then the nation/states, to the current corporate/states.
Some believe they will move either toward perhaps a world dictatorship or a nuclear World War before they loose their power to the people.
Globalization's goal was to tie us all into this ecological overshoot. It is now very difficult for any individual or place to manage their own affairs, not just in resources but in pollution. Never has there been a time when all these civilizations are linked up in this globalized resource exchange called free trade, which in the short run gives us amazing economic growth but in the long term makes us incredibly vulnerable to political insecurity, resource anomalies, or Stalin/Hitler draconian outcomes.
So we set up massive militerzations to force continued trade. We set up GIGANTIC banking/financial frameworks to keep this free trade going. This added complexity has diminishing returns. The only solution is to realign our population both in size & location with the biological carrying capacity of the planet.
Unfortunately, as the film implies: it's do or die time."