Gasland – Movie Review

movie reviewThis time it’s documentary time again. Gasland tells the story of a young man. His name is Josh Fox and he lives in the United States, owns a little land in Pennsylvania, where he grew up in a small house in the woods. His parents built it so the land and surrounding forest and a river are near and dear to his heart. In May 2008 a gas company asked if he would like to sell his land. They offered him to pay something like $100.000. The company’s plan is to start drilling for gas in that area by using a technique called ‘hydraulic fracturing’. It is a very efficient and cheap technique. The down side is that the environment will rapidly go down hill in areas where fracturing is used to drill for gas. What we learn is that hydraulic fracturing unfortunately is a very common technique to drill for gas. At least in the United States.

Of course it sounds great to get an offer over 100.000 dollars. But Josh wants to know more. He loves the place where he lives. He grew up there. He wants to keep the environment clean. After trying to get some info about the drilling process from the usual companies, without any success, he decides to head out into the field. He basically travels all accross the USA and meets people who live with the industry. Surrounded by drilling installations.

We see these people and how they live with all the environmental pollution that surrounds them. The most amazing arguments of the movie are the scenes where people turn on their tap water and light it on fire. It’s ridiculous seeing that. The people suffer serious health problems and can’t do anything against it. Except to move away. But, to be honest, not everyone can. It’s a simple solution to suggest but a hard one to execute. Whatever the reason may be. And the movie shows us the reasons. It’s painful to watch these poor people and what they have to deal with. Day in day out. I personally cannot imagine living under such conditions.

We get to see a lot of footage on location of these drilling installations. Some of them look harmless. Others not so much. Especially when we take the environment into account. The movie does a nice job explaining all the circumstances without going into too deep details. Yes I admit, we often hear some strange chemics names but that’s for the sole reason of showing how much junk goes into the earth there. Some of these names I never heard before… and highly doubt will ever hear again. To imagine that this stuff is in the surface water of any region makes me sick. Thinking about all the animals that have to live with it just makes me sad. Some of these animals almost extinct. It’s painful to watch.

Throughout the movie Josh is trying to get some official statements but has absolutely no success whatsoever. Everyone declines interviews. Of course! It’s depressing. And that’s the second half of the movie. It loses a little speed at that point. The viewer can actually only watch it and shake the head. How far can greed go? How much are they willing to sacrifice for that one little extra dollar? The movie really tries to find some answers but the whole system refuses to give any.

That may be the only down side of the documentary. We don’t get any answers. What we get is what should be done to make things better. But there literally isn’t anyone who even wants to try. Governmental institutions might want to take action but are not able to, because some weird laws prevent any them from action. The movies leaves us with the message that there’s at least hope. Even if literally everything speaks against it.

If you want to know how fast our society is declining… then try this movie. Educate yourself and learn some sad truths. That’s never a wrong thing to do. Keep yourself aware of the ongoings out there.

If you are interested in how disgusting ‘hydraulic fracturing’ works out -> What’s Fracking?


Gasland on IMDb

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