Movie Review: GasLand

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Movie Review – GasLand (Media Studies)

The documentary GasLand informs the viewers how natural gas corporations affect people around the world. This film uncovers the shocking truth – the drilling companies contribute enormously to the destruction of the environment. Moreover, it accuses them of corruption and abuse of control on the masses. Josh Fox, the movie producer, proves that it is possible to change the current mindset of consumerism and privatization into the caring attitude towards the planet, its flora and fauna. Thus, the movie GasLand informs about the activities of natural gas corporations that pose a potential threat to humanity.

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GasLand is an activist documentary. The activists are everyday people who are subjected to the harmful influence of natural gas drilling corporations. The action happens in Dimock, Pennsylvania. After a natural gas company started drilling wells in this area, people encounter environmental and health problems. For example, methane appeared in the kitchen sinks (Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary, 2010). The movie director tries to discover what gas drilling companies could do to the Delaware River watershed if he and other people sign the papers allowing the gas company to buy the rights to extract gas from their land. Being highly concerned with the issue, Fox starts his investigation in Dimock. Then, he visits other cities across the US. He meets people who also struggle with the unexpected consequences of gas drilling and fracking. Fox might have borrowed some elements of Michael Moore’s style. However, he does not aspire to the objectivity of National Geographic. The rude narration and guerrilla editing are absent. Instead, the author depicts individuals allowing them to explain their problems. Fox does not hide their good and bad personalities. Consequently, all people profiled in the movie are genuine. Fox does not attempt to study the US appetite for energy that drives natural gas corporations. Moreover, he does not try to provoke the viewers into experiencing responsibility for indifference. Thus, the documentary is a thought-provoking story that does not give direct answers to the problems forcing the audience to understand the causes personally.

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Due to the fact that the gas boom progresses in the US and that other countries try to create their own gas reserves, people discuss whether to expand global gas drilling. In fact, natural gas corporations have become so large that they have established unique public and business networks. In order to convince the general public that natural gas is clean energy, they persuade people that natural gas is a lower-carbon “bridge” fuel (Nunez, 2014). Moreover, it is crucial to meet future energy demand. US President Barack Obama and gas magnates support this idea. Thus, they do not accept the strategies of natural gas lobbyists on climate change. Firstly, gas lobbyists fight with the coal industry trying to encourage companies to displace coal with gas. Secondly, they have launched a monitoring campaign to promote the profile of the gas industry and to change Federal and State regulations. Their attempts aim to favor natural gas and to provide the ability for the drilling corporations to develop new natural gas reserves in the Northeast region and Texas. (Nunez, 2014). Thus, gas companies have developed a detailed promotion strategy to convince people that natural gas is green energy.

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To conclude, the movie GasLand informs viewers about a huge boom in natural gas production in the United States of America at the moment. It focuses on the problems resulted from both gas drilling and fracking. GaLand is a trip of Josh Fox who is determined to find other places where gas companies offer to buy the right to extract gas the land. It gives a fresh look at the problem of environmental pollution. Indeed, natural gas corporations have created a promotion strategy to persuade the community and government that developing new natural gas reserves are necessary to meet the energy demand. However, they rarely mentions the real consequences of uncontrolled drilling.

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