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By Nate Kuester

The continued rise in prices of gasoline has the great majority of Americans brimming with frustration and anger. The makers of the documentary film "Gas Hole" have provided a movie that demands the attention of anyone who curses quietly under their breathe every time they pull into the gas station after looking to see what the price is now.

This film examines not only the effects of the oil industry, but takes a historical look back into the beginnings of "Big Oil" as well as the ramifications of the industry's impact on our current global society. To put it simply, we live in troubled times in regard to our dependence on energy. As this reviewer watched the film I couldn't help but shake my head in disbelief as I came to grips with the message of "Gas Hole." That message is one of naivety.

The filmmakers raise poignant questions about the current climate of corporate social responsibility by the large conglomerations of oil companies. But it doesn't stop there as everyone involved in the process of taking oil from the ground and getting it into your gas tank comes under scrutiny.

No one is safe, from the petroleum industry, to the governments of the world (and yes the Bush Administration specifically), political regimes, lobbyists and even you, the consumer. According to the filmmakers we have all played a role in the oil crisis that now wreaks havoc on everyone's daily finances.

"Gas Hole" features stories and input from a wide variety of people, including members of Congress, alternative energy enthusiasts, Hollywood, actors, "Big Oil" executives as they testify before Congress, and everyday people like you and me.

The stories you hear in the film will no doubt make you mad. In fact. "Gas Hole" asks the questions that not only demand answers, but it is a loud and defiant declaration that action has never been more necessary to dump the pump and find alternative energy sources in a hurry.

Narrator Peter Gallgher guides you through the early days as America got it's first "fix" from the oil industry and then takes you up to the present day "addiction" where we find ourselves now, looking for answers to how we all could have buried our heads in sand for so long.

The stories of those in the film who talk about their own experiences with their experiments drastically increasing fuel efficiency draws you in quickly. And the pressure, as well as threats they claim they received from the petroleum companies, will frighten you.

One of the film's contributors, actor Joshua Jackson, says it best, "This is the great issue of our time." I'm inclined to agree with him as the effects of our dependence on foreign oil has crippled the nation and puts us all at the whim of those who control our greatest economical need --fuel. On a positive note, there is an underlying theme of hope and acknowledgement of American ingenuity to find an answer to the energy crisis.

This film serves as a worthy companion to the documentary movies "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." It is a movie you can't afford to miss, that is unless you're content to pay the current price at the pump. Four Stars.

"Gas Hole" is playing at Flicks in Boise through the weekend.