Gasland

Gasland

  • GASLAND (DVD MOVIE)

In 2009, filmmaker Josh Fox learned his home in the Delaware River Basin was on top of the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation containing natural gas that stretches across New York, Pennsylvania and huge stretches of the Northeast. He was offered 0,000 to lease his land for a new method of drilling developed by Halliburton and soon discovered this was only a part of a 34-state drilling campaign, the largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history. Part mystery, part travelogue, and part banjo showdown, Gasland documents Josh’s cross-country odyssey to find out if the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is actually safe. As he interviews people who live on or around current fracking sites, Josh learns of things gone horribly wrong, from illness to hair loss to flammable water, and his inquiries lead him ever deeper into a web of secrets, lies, conspiracy, and contamination – a web that potentially stretches to threaten the New York Watershed. Unearthing a shocking story about a practice that is understudied and inadequately regulated, Gasland races to find answer about fracking before it’s far too late. Little did director Josh Fox know that he’d find himself trailing the history and future of natural gas mining for this documentary, Gasland, or so he claims in this moving and evocative political exposé. Thankfully unpretentious and lacking in the didacticism that plagues many political documentaries, Gasland is edifying in the most entertaining and palatable way. Fox’s open-ended questions presented during his narration are answered by interviewees found as he travels cross-country to source out water pollution happening as a result of hydraulic fracturing. The tension begins when Fox researches a letter he receives in the mail at his rural Pennsylvania farmhouse, inviting him to sell his land for 0,000 and permission to mine natural gas. He comes to discover how the Delaware River watershed’s imminently endangered status will threaten New York City’s main water source, and towards the end of the film focuses on New York City, as respected politicians like John Gennaro and Congressman Maurice Hinchey speak on behalf of this issue. But before filming congressional hearings, Fox charts his personal dilemma and how it quickly spirals outward, as first his neighbors tell him horror stories about water contamination due to this process. And as he tours Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas, where hydraulic fracturing has already contaminated myriad underground wells, Fox actually films many families’ water faucets catching fire as people hold a match to their running tap water. Fox’s continuing investigation ties this unchecked chemical process to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton activity and bills covertly passed during the Bush administration. Gasland does not have a conspiratorial feel; it takes an honest, even-keeled investigative approach and relies on information relayed to Fox from renowned activists like Dr. Theo Colborn and Environmental Protection Agency staffer Weston Wilson. This documentary sheds light on what has been a practice that many American citizens have assumed mysterious and possibly benign. It is easy to understand why Gasland has garnered so many film festival awards, since it presents vital information that will necessitate action once it reaches enough of the population. This is grassroots documentary filmmaking at its finest. —Trinie Dalton

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3 comments

    • jeaniebeanie "reviewer" on March 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm
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    141 of 169 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    What Have We Done?, November 12, 2010
    By 
    jeaniebeanie “reviewer” (New York City, USA) –

    This review is from: Gasland (DVD)

    When you watch Josh Fox’s brilliant GASLAND, it’s as if you’re watching a nightmare scenario of what would happen if our lands were taken over by evil aliens, intent on sucking the earth dry, regardless of the consequences to the planet–and to us. This is no sci-fi thriller that could never happen in real life, however. Shockingly, it IS really happening and it’s worse than you can imagine.

    Very fortunately, for all of us, Josh Fox, brave soul that he is, ventured out into the heart of America and into the small towns of this country to actually speak to regular, law abiding, tax paying citizens who are now paying the ultimate price for “clean” gas drilling with permanent health effects, including brain damage, chronic respiratory conditions and many other serious conditions, too numerous to mention. Their land is worthless, their water undrinkable. The now famous scene where the tap water actually bursts into flame is just the tip of the iceburg. The epidemic of hydrofracking now taking place in America is worse than any disease we’ve ever encountered. It destroys our water, our air, our animals, our vegetation (including farm crops), our livestock, our health and our lives. This is Three Mile Island, Love Canal and Chernobyl–times fifty.

    GASLAND should be shown in every elementary, high school and college classroom. At least that way, when our children grow into adults, they will know why there is no such thing anymore as fresh water in America. And they will know who was responsible.

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    • OzarkTroutBum on March 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm
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    79 of 98 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Important!, November 5, 2010
    By 

    This review is from: Gasland (DVD)

    This is one of the most important films of the decade. It reveals the incredibly dirty and destructive side of “clean burning natural gas.” From Josh Fox’s living room in Pennsylvania begins a journey to Arkansas, Texas, Wyoming and beyond. No matter where the story carries him, the view is always the same with a repeated pattern of toxic chemicals, contaminated water, mysterious foul smells and above all, worry and frustration of the citizens forced to live in GasLand everyday.
    The people featured in the film become your friends, you cannot help but like them. They share their stories and you will find yourself searching the internet to learn more of the injustice being delivered on them at the hands of corporations who consider them to be part of a sacrifice zone and their elected leaders busy looking the other way as they accept millions of dollars in campaign contributions.
    Though a dark and gloomy subject you do get a taste of Josh Fox’s wry sense of humor and marvel at the ability of the people in the film to still manage a smile despite what is happening to them and thousands more like them.
    See this film. It will leave you with the sense that this is just plain wrong and you will have to ask yourself, what can I do about it?

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    • S. Wilson "TXsharon" on March 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm
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    61 of 75 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    If this is our bridge fuel we won’t go far!, December 14, 2010
    By 
    S. Wilson “TXsharon” (Decatur, TX USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Gasland (DVD)

    Josh Fox’s GASLAND is an entertaining, high energy piece of art that will make you laugh and leave you terrified. Fox traveled across the country and through the gas patches in his old Camry with nothing but his curiosity, ample passion and a camera. Watching GASLAND is an interactive experience; you will laugh, cry, shake your head in disbelief, curse and marvel at the triumph of the human spirit. If this film doesn’t make you think about the future and motivate you to action, check your pulse.

    I live on top of the Barnett Shale and for six years now I have blogged about the devastating effects of natural gas extraction. Everything in GASLAND, I have witnessed firsthand and captured in video and photographs on my blog.

    Natural gas is not a clean energy, and if this is our bridge fuel, we aren’t going far. It’s another dirty fossil fuel that creates massive amounts of toxic and radioactive waste for which industry has no plan. They are spreading this waste on our farmland, dumping it in streams and ditches and burying it in fields. The water use is simply not sustainable and our surface and groundwater is being contaminated. The emissions make natural gas worse for the climate than coal–now that’s BAD!

    We can decide now to go forward and build a sustainable world where our children will have a future or continue to beat the hydrocarbon energy dead horse to the ruination of our vital natural resources.

    TXsharon – Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS

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