- Film Guide
As a state with a reputation built more around "cow water" (Can we start calling milk this?), it’s exceedingly important to note that Wisconsin is one of the preeminent sources of freshwater in the entire world. Of the world’s water supply, approximately three percent is considered fresh and two percent of that water is frozen in the polar ice caps. A great majority of that remaining one percent (to be exact-- 0.768 percent of the earth’s water is accessible freshwater) is housed within our Great Lakes region. Add to that the more than 15,000 lakes dotting Wisconsin’s landscape* and our increasing presence on the forefront of water-based business and technology (from Growing Power’s use of aquaponics to the awesome moat I’m building around the Milwaukee Film offices), and you begin to see our state’s position as lynchpin of the global water supply.
While it is no doubt exciting that our stranglehold on freshwater supply would make us a dystopian powerhouse if Hollywood were to remake Waterworld today**, it couldn’t be more clear that the biggest problem facing the world in the near future is the management of a water supply that cannot replenish itself as quickly as we're using it.
Last Call at the Oasis is a documentary and call to arms, hoping to inspire both action and new ways of thinking about this crisis, in order to ensure that future generations have access to a clean-water supply safe enough for them to consume. Directed by Oscar-winning*** documentarian Jessica Yu, produced by Participation Media (who’ve also shepherded other hot-button docs such as Food, Inc. and the 2010 MFF Audience Award-winning Waiting for Superman) and packed to the gills (See what I did there?) with experts speaking truth to this crisis, Last Call at the Oasis is certain to be the hottest festival ticket of day 13.
Which brilliantly ties into our sponsor for this screening, the Milwaukee Water Council. Their 2012 Water Summit runs today and tomorrow at the Pfister Hotel. The Water Summit’s sub-topic this year is "Building the Water-centric City" and will look at the widening gap between supply and usage, as well as the innovative solutions being explored to curtail this problem. Be sure to take part in the discussion by attending today. You’ll be glad you did.
*You’re free to picture us sympathetically patting Minnesota on the back now. “Oh, Land of 10,000 Lakes? That’s really great. No, that’s just-- you’re doing awesome Minnesota.”
**Calling dibs on the Dennis Hopper look. Not calling dibs on the "turns-wee-into-drinking-water machine," though.
***Whose Oscar-winning documentary short Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien shares the same subject as our closing night film The Sessions. One of those cool little film festival synergies that crop up every now and again.
LAST CALL AT THE OASIS screens today (Tuesday), 7:30 PM at the Oriental Theatre. Advanced tickets are no longer available online, but may be purchased at any film festival box office location.
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Tom Fuchs is returning for a third year as our featured festival blogger, telling you all about our daily festival picks. Tom has been on our shorts programming committee for all four years of the Milwaukee Film Festival.