Part vérité travelogue, part exposé, part mystery, part showdown, Gasand is a compelling and emotional first-person story of discovery and, ultimately, empowerment.
The billion dollar energy industry has a dirty little secret.
In September 2006, theatre director and part-time banjo player Josh Fox received an unexpected letter in the mail: a natural gas company offering him $100 000 for permission to explore his family’s upstate New York property, in the lush Delaware River Basin area.
Rather than join many of his neighbours in signing on the dotted line, Josh’s curiosity saw him asking questions. He soon discovered that in the race for ‘cleaner’, greener & more efficient energy sources, the largest natural gas drilling boom in history is sweeping the globe, and in the US, the Halliburton-led drilling technology of hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) has unlocked a “Saudi Arabia of natural gas”.
So Josh picked up his camcorder, and set out on a journey across America’s heartland. His personal concerns quickly uncover global ones, as the citizens of ‘GasLand’ testify to what’s been happening around them. It becomes evident that the multi-million dollar business of fracking has contaminated the water supply, the corporate giants are in cover-up mode, and the PR-spun government has not only turned a blind eye, it has regulated itself out of the picture…
Rough-hewn yet poetic, the film is a desperate plea for scrutiny of a powerful industry that has now turned its eyes on a new, massive and (for now) largely unexplored territory: Australia.
GasLand was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and voted the best competition film of any section by indieWIRE’s Sundance Critics Poll. It has recently received a 2011 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
SBS Documentary News blogger Julia Scott-Stevenson introduces us to Gasland
SBS Film reviews the documentary
Watch an interview with the film's writer and director Josh Fox
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