Pump | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated PG · 88 minutes · 2014

There are better and worse ways to put together an issue-oriented documentary with an agenda; Joshua Tickell (following up his similarly-themed 2008 documentary Fuel) and Rebecca Tickell show one of the better ways. Their topic once again is America’s dangerous dependence on fossil fuels, with an emphasis on how easy it might actually be to convert the entire U.S. fleet of vehicles to ethanol- or methanol-based fuels. In the process of showing how many issues are linked to oil-dependence, the Tickells creates something that does at time feel like a patchwork quilt of issue docs from the past decade, covering everything from the 2008 financial collapse to the plight of Detroit to Who Killed the Electric Car? But while it’s unfortunate when they steer away from a fascinating segment on the growth of the Chinese automobile market—I’d happily watch a full-length doc just about that topic—in favor of a lot of talking heads, the Tickells maintains a clear line to their surprisingly optimistic thesis. Unlike so many documentaries that wait until the last 10 minutes to offer any glimmer of home, this one stays on-message and upbeat.


Staff Rating:
Director: Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Tickell

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