Springfield College was exposed to a frightening truth that could occur in our lifetime, unless we act now. The film, Last Call at the Oasis, was shown on March 4 at the Fuller Arts Center. It described the global water crisis that our country and the rest of the world faces if we don’t change.
Jessica Yu, an Academy Award winner, directed the film, which discusses the problems our society faces and how the increasing water consumption will lead to certain issues that could be faced during this century. It’s difficult to comprehend, but it’s true and through Yu’s directing and interviews with experts on the subject, it’s not farfetched that water, something we consider to be infinite, is somehow deteriorating. The film shows how the global consumption is slowly shrinking water supplies, starting in Las Vegas and the city’s constant growth, which has negative effects for Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. It moves more west to places like San Francisco and southern California, explaining the problems the entire state could face. The problems in this country don’t lie in just the west, but all the way to the east coast, especially on farms.
What makes the film so powerful is that people are already being affected by this potential epidemic, as farms are being allowed to dry up due to the water crisis.
“We take for granted what happens in the other parts of the world and we always just think that can’t be me,” environmental activist Erin Brockovich said in the film. “It already is you.”
Brockovich is one of the many respected and knowledgeable people interviewed for this film, but she also resonates more with the general public for the 2000 film named after her that stars Julia Roberts. The highly-touted film highlights the contaminated water in Hinkley, Calif. Contaminated water is not just a problem in southern California though.
Chemicals are in the water, which are being consumed by people on a daily basis.
“Our kids are getting steady infusions of industrial chemicals before we even give them solid food,” said Lisa Jackson, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Although the issues are very much a reality, changes are being put in place, including recycled (yes, recycled) bottle water called Porcelain Springs, which was endorsed by comedian Jack Black. Others are looking for innovated sources of water.
The film leaves the audience feeling a sense of responsibility to join in on the cause. It captures the audience with great techniques of artist renderings and real life stories from people affected by this crisis.
Director of Sustainability and Land Use Management here at SC, Jonathan Parrott, along with guests David Mitchell and Scott Steinschneider conducted a Q-and-A following the screening.
Last Call at the Oasis was released in 2011 with the tagline: “You drink it, you swim in it, you survive on it. It’s time you knew the truth about it.”