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Syriania Review (Spoiler Alert) Dusko Jocic (July 1st, 2006)

Syriana was the most anticipated film for peakniks last year. But it's not as interesting as I had hoped.
It barely skims the surface of Peak Oil. It avoids dealing with any real solutions to big oil problems.
The trailer is also really misleading. "Imagine 30% of the US Population unable to heat their homes, or gas
prices as high as $20 a gallon." But nowhere in this film are these lines to be heard. I often found myself
uninterested and bored and the person behind me was snoring towards the end of the film. No Joke! The most
positive thing it does is bring the peak oil halfway to the mainstream. But it still has a ways to go.

While the film is still fresh in my mind I found the movie to be very similar to Traffic. Multiple storylines
juxtaposed together to weave together the tapestry of the film. The lead character, played by George Clooney
is very cut and dry and most of the characters are depicted as simple and unsophisticated. In some ways this
mirrors human nature perfectly but peakniks need inspiration if they are to save the world. What the world
needs is another anthem to peak oil, like "The End Of Suburbia." Instead, what we have here is the jar-jar of
oil films. The only character that intrigues viewers is a fictional oil prince. His ambition is to take his
country from oil province through to the post oil age. But American Oil interests see him as a danger to their
hegemony. They end up killing him and smashing his dream of a middle eastern country free of American foreign
policy. He is replaced by his materialistic brother.

This film needs to show the complex interconnected nature of oil and life instead of oil and politics. If the
global public is to understand the complexity of the issues presented they need to see how it might impact their
day to day existance. Gas lines and a great depression imagery might wake people up. Individuals fighting for
control of their physical destiny would inspire and scare others. The film stops short of this point but the
final scene shows us just how vulnerable we are to terrorist acts that threaten sensitive energy supplies.

The scariest line in the film is "Thank God for waste. Without it there would be no capitalism." The film
makers are simply asking a question. When peak oil happens will capitalism be able to survive without mass
consumpution and horendous personal waste? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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