What can you expect from a movie that’s produced by a group whose advisers include a former CIA director, a onetime Shell Oil Co. president and a man who once headed the Rockefeller Foundation?
If you answered, “a spirited defense of America’s oil industry,” guess again.
“PUMP” is a hard-hitting critique of the country’s reliance on oil that calls on Americans to support the mass production of alcohol-based fuels and other alternative energy sources.
The PG-rated documentary, which is coming to Star Hall for a free screening on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., makes the case that domestic production of fuels like ethanol and methanol could create millions of jobs. Filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Tickell argue that the shift would lessen the country’s dependence on expensive resources from war-torn regions across the globe, while cutting emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
“Arrested Development” star Jason Bateman narrates a story that begins with a look at Standard Oil’s business practices in the early 20th Century and continues with a critique of modern-day oil companies’ machinations.
The movie’s executive producers don’t make any attempts to hide their agenda: They say they hope to end America’s dependence on oil in less than 10 years.
Other advocacy groups have similar goals, but this movie’s message is coming from some unexpected voices.
The Fuel Freedom Foundation’s board includes former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister and former Rockefeller Foundation President Peter Goldmark.
Both Hofmeister and Goldmark share their surprising perspectives on the country’s energy choices. Other talking heads in the movie include former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, whose company designs and manufactures electric cars.
Utah Film Center Marketing Manager Josh Levey said the insights they offer are a big part of the film’s appeal.
“’PUMP’ is a must-see film,” Levey said. “It gives viewers an informative look at oil alternatives by offering a wide spectrum of options that could reduce our dependency on oil and increase our economic security, while maintaining our love affair with cars and the freedom they provide,” Levey said.
Grand County Public Library Assistant Jessie Magleby encourages anyone who is curious about the issue to check out the movie.
Some Americans find their current fuel choices to be limited, she said, and “PUMP” presents audiences with some creative alternatives.
“If Americans feel that relying on foreign oil is limiting, ‘PUMP’ points out that we can solve the problem at home and create jobs while strengthening the economy with our own resources and ingenuity,” Magleby said. “The film shows how we can fill our cars with replacement fuels that are cheaper, cleaner and American made.”
There doesn’t seem to be one perfect solution to this issue, she said, but more choices could be a good first step.
To learn more about “PUMP,” go to pumpthemovie.com. For more information about upcoming Utah Film Center screenings at Star Hall, go to utahfilmcenter.org/events/category/moab/upcoming/.
Star Hall plans free Feb. 26 screening of documentary
It gives viewers an informative look at oil alternatives by offering a wide spectrum of options that could reduce our dependency on oil and increase our economic security, while maintaining our love affair with cars and the freedom they provide.
What: The Utah Film Center and the Grand County Public Library present “PUMP”
When: Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m
Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.