directed by Josh Fox
Ok. Enough time has passed since I curmudgeonly and snarkily got on my little soap box about the illustrious tradition of the Academy Awards (ugh), and I must give credit where credit is due with regard to Josh Fox’s eye opening doc about the crisis besieging my fair nation, a crisis brought on by the long, wicked fingers of Big Natural Gas, unchecked by an inept government and a neutered EPA. Fox begins, literally, in his backyard, with a proposition to lease his land to Big NG, and in exchange for some walking around money, Fox would have to allow an undetermined number of “frac” wells (wells designed to fracture the earth and harvest the gas) to be built on his multi acre plot along the Delaware River. Doesn’t sound so bad, but when Fox begins to investigate the actual impacts of this insanely unsafe (from an environmental, biological, social and medical standpoint) practice, making his way around the country to talk to droves of this country’s struggling middle class, families beleaguered with hosts of ailments, calamities, and (in some cases) flammable tap water. That’s right, you heard me correctly. Tap water so corrupted with chemicals and gases as a result of Big NG’s reckless quest for profit that it quite literally can be lit on fire as it pours into the kitchen sink of a modern home. Fox’s doc is expertly realized, more visceral than the flaccid and intellectual Food Inc (a doc that seeks to unveil, in similar fashion, the misdeeds of the Big Agriculture in the US), and it doesn’t hurt that Fox has some righteous banjo pickin’ chops. All in all, GasLand is a great doc and a strong warning to the uninformed who believe that natural gas will free us from Crude’s death grip. Let’s just hope it’s not as frighteningly prophetic as it appears to be.