This week’s Friday Film Pick is one of my year’s favourite films and has been reviewed here on Art Threat in past weeks. The Oscar-nominated doc is a quirky and alarming cross-country odyssey of dorky camera-yielding banjo-playing Josh Fox and the refuse of industry malfeasance he uncovers along the way.
The film is about fracking — natural gas fracturing and the devastating impact this extraction process has on the environment and communities living nearby. Fox machine-guns the audience with facts so fast you’ll need to later visit the site he’s created to defend the data against money-grubbing corporations who have now joined forces to go after the film, even going as far as to interfere with the Academy that is reviewing Gasland as an Oscar contender.
Just how stupid are these energy companies? Pretty damned stupid, because as anyone familiar with the old David and Goliath tale will tell you, such a suit will only draw attention to the film and by extension, the cynical and self-interested actions of the corporate interests behind fracking.
So, how to watch the doc that will make you want to bathe afterward? HBO is distributing it on demand until February 20th, Netflix.com has it for streaming (Netflix.ca doesn’t of course, prompting all of us in the Great White North to ponder, yet again, “Why the hell not shut down if you continue to be so completely useless?”) and you can pre-order the DVD from Amazon for shipping February 8th. You can watch the PBS interview with Fox here.
My money is on Inside Job or Wasteland for the Oscar, but hey, maybe the industry campaign will backfire and even push that envelope.