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GasLand, Josh Fox (2010)

So we’ve all heard that one solution to the energy and global warming crises is to turn from petroleum to alternative fuels, like for instance natural gas. Natural gas! It’s awesome! It’s clean and cheap and plentiful and domestic! Well, guess what. Big corporations are drilling down into shale formations all over the country, and blasting toxic fluid down the holes to free up the gas so they can suck it out for you. This is causing widespread pollution of groundwater reservoirs, to such an extent that this guy in this picture here is able to set his tap water on fire.

You can find out all about it here. http://gaslandthemovie.com/

It’s a terrible situation but, the formalist must take note, a very fine movie. Fox is personally involved in the problem — a gas company wants to drill on his own property in upstate New York — and acts not as a narrator of the film but as a character in it, to great effect. An extremely engaging and effective piece of agitprop.

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