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Shellarama (1965)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

In the heart of the Nigerian Delta, a team of Shell employees arrive at the source of an oil reserve. They board an oilrig to begin extracting oil; when it begins to erupt, all are smiling. The rig is revealed to be one of many at the source of Shell's business. From this source, the oil passes through mile after mile of piping as it travels across African desert. Eventually the pipes reach the sea, where the oil is transferred to containers for shipping. Shell's cargo travels in all weathers, including thunderous storms, until it arrives at a refinery, an altogether more sedate, controlled affair.

Several western cities, including London, Paris and Rome, are revealed in stationary tableaux, their streets bare and lifeless. One by one, they spring into energy as Shell-fuelled motorcars, trucks and bikes travel down their roads and avenues. Expanding from these western cities to others around the globe, Shell is celebrated in a similar way: numerous cultures and creeds are shown to benefit from Shell Oil as motor vehicles are in used in diverse international locations. On sea and road, Shell is portrayed as the new equaliser of man, providing fuel as a key tool in the modern world.