Juice by Tyson Culver & Robert Bryce [9/10]

Juice: How Electricity Explains the World,” directed by Tyson Culver and co-written by him and Robert Bryce, is a scintillating and captivating tale about a seemingly dreary topic: electricity. Narrated by author Bryce, who travels to Colorado, Iceland, India, New York, Lebanon, and Puerto Rico, with assured enthusiasm, the film’s thesis is simple: electricity is the key to prosperity, present and future. Each of the locations hammers home an aspect of this thesis, and they’re a stunning sequence of case studies, from impoverished peoples, to a hurricane-induced blackout, to bitcoin merchants, to ganja growers. All the various talking heads are wonderfully captured. The script is a zinger and Culver’s direction is modern-day magic, ratcheting up the pace, pleasing the eye and ear, and providing a rock-firm narrative grip. “Juice” derives from Bryce’s just-released book, “A Question of Power,” but it is significantly leaner and all the better for it. Some of the film’s policy-tilted views, such as espousing nuclear energy, can be argued with, but more so with the book; “Juice” offers its prescriptive advice as a minor subplot. And the film’s core thrust is indubitably true. The future of the globally warming world lies in electrifying almost everything and moving to carbon-free electricity sources, and “Juice” offers an invaluable message to us all. But don’t go see this movie for its gospel, go catch it, wherever you can and as soon as you can, as an exemplar of story and film-making.

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