Review: Fuel DVD

STUDIO: Cinema Libre | DIRECTOR: Joshua Tickell
RELEASE DATE: 6/22/2010 | PRICE: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95
BONUSES: commentary, “How to” environmental featurettes
SPECS: NR | 112 min. | Documentary | 1.33:1 fullscreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Filmmaker Joshua Tickell spent 11 years documenting his fight to create awareness about biodiesel and how an individual can make a difference and he turned it into this award-winning documentary, Fuel.

Tickell’s anger toward oil companies is a very personal one. Growing up in Louisiana, he witnessed firsthand the effects of the oil refineries on the people in his own community, including his mother, who suffered nine miscarriages due to the environmental hazards of the area.

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Best Documentary Audience Award, Fuel addresses the recent negativity toward biodiesel and ethanol in that these two alternative sources of energy are wastes of food. In fact, biofuel created by soybeans is actually quite energy efficient. But even better are those biofuels that are created by our own waste, such as used vegetable oil at fast food restaurants.

Fuel attempts to pluck at your heartstrings to convince you that you can make a difference, and the message is particularly timely with the current BP oil spill in the Gulf. Although Tickell does occasionally become too heavy handed in his message, the film is effective in explaining how you can “change your world” by doing simple, everyday things, such as using public transportation or riding a bike. Unlike some documentaries that leave you feeling depressed and hopeless, Fuel is quite positive overall in its message, spotlighting the possibilities of green-collar jobs and new technologies such as algae-based, renewable gasoline. The film will leave you thinking about a greener, more energy-efficient future.

The DVD continues its green mission with how-to featurettes.


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About Cheryl

Cheryl Cheng reviewed DVD and Blu-ray titles for Video Business magazine and has a special place in her heart for foreign and independent films.