The new documentary “Houston, We Have a Problem” will be screened Thursday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St. The film includes interviews with late oil and energy expert Matthew Simmons, who had recently started the Ocean Energy Institute in Rockland. This special screening is being shown in his honor. There will be a post-film discussion and Q&A session with director Nicole Torre and producer Eric Mofford.

In “Houston, We Have a Problem,” director Torre delves into the current state of our energy situation. The poignant documentary, which has a unique concentration in that it focuses on Houston as the national source of our oil supply and takes us inside the energy capital of the world to hear the hard truth about oil from the Texas oilmen themselves.

Torre, a self-described “tree hugging liberal,” was in Houston with an assignment to do a puff piece on socialites when she met her first real “oil baron.” She was surprised by how strongly he was in favor of alternative energy and this new awareness led her to this story. During production, she began to realize that oil/energy is a commodity and therefore part of our volatile economic cycle.

Making any documentary is a challenge in and of itself, but Torre admitted the rollercoaster gas and oil market that occurred throughout 2008 only enhanced her task. In he film, she presents the history of American oil demand, then segues into alternative sources of energy. At one point in the film, a subject states quite frankly that despite the oil crisis, our unspoken national energy policy is that Americans still want “cheap gas and lots of it.”

Advance tickets are available at the Strand Theatre or at the door day-of-show. Tickets are $8.50 for all seats. For more information about this screening, call the Strand at 594-0070.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to