Fracking is a controversial topic being addressed in two films in 2012. View the attached trailer for the drama “Promised Land”, about a large natural gas corporation attempting to make profits off a depressed rural community. Then view the video clip on the “FrackNation” website about why three documentary filmmakers, Ann McElhinney with CBC in Canada, spouse Phelim McAleer with the BBC and RTE in Ireland, and Magda Segieda with Polish TV, decided to make a documentary proposing the safety of the procedure for getting natural gas out of deep rock.
“Promised Land” stars Matt Damon as a large natural gas corporation saleman Steve Butler, sent with his partner Frances McDormand, as Sue Thomason, to get up enough signatures for drilling leases for fracking in a declining farming community. He makes hints to landowners about things like a new school and becoming millionaires. His co-star is John Krasinski as Dustin, a well-meaning farmer and the main grass roots opposition in town to the drilling plans, along with Hal Holbrook playing the respected schoolteacher/wise town elder. The trailers apple site synopsis says “Promised Land explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge.”
Damon and Krasinski are the co-writers of the movie script from a story by Dave Eggers and being produced by Focus Features. Director is Gus Van Sant (“Milk”, “Good Will Hunting”). The film will be released in limited theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 28, 2012, so it will be up for Academy Award nominations. Full theatrical release will be in January, 2013. The first trailer was released on September 21, 2012.
In the September 28, 2012 Heritage Foundation’s blog Scribe, it was theorized by Lachlan Markay that the United Arab Emirates owned Image Nation Abu Dhabi invested in the film to turn American viewers off to hydrofracking, a method for extracting oil and natural gas by drilling deep into rock to release natural gas and injecting toxic chemicals. The UAE would like to lose the U.S. as a competitor in global natural gas sales. Image Nation has also co-financed other films like “The Help” and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” but the company has become a controversial backer for this film subject.
The Promised Land trailer shows green fields, kids playing baseball and American flags iconographs. In 2011, the film “Gasland” about natural gas drilling was nominated for Best Feature Documentary, but lost when there was so much contention about the accuracy of the film. Josh Fox presented the anti-fracking stance in it. “Promised Land” is a drama, not an editorial or documentary, but Matt Damon is a clean water access activist as co-founder with Gary White of the 501C3 water.orgTM. In August, 2012, Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono formed the Artists Against Fracking coalition to fight fracking in New York State and over 140 artists and celebrities have signed on.
Recently the states of Wyoming, Colorado, and Pennsylvania have had reports of methane leaking into air and drinking water from nearby natural gas drilling. On May 4, 2012, Vermont became the first state to ban fracking.
Currently the documentary “FrackNation” is being edited to tell the story of people who live where fracking is occurring and want it to continue. Online scientific evidence on fracking is minimal, but read the Science News website on the “Facts Behind the Frack” and you will probably not be a fracking supporter.