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on March 2, 2016
To really understand what Fracking is all about I watched Gasland and Fracknation after reading the book The Boom by Russel Gold, and I recommend that all three be used together to make up your own mind. Gasland is unfortunately filled with misinformation--such as increased cancer rates in Texas gas field country; which just isn't true, but it does have some good visuals of gas fields at their worst in places like Wyoming. Frackland has much better information, but neither documentary has the scope of the book Boom which explains how Wall Street and the stock prices of energy companies are the real drivers of the boom in Fracking. So you can watch Gasland for some nice visuals but go to Frackland and Boom for solid information.
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on November 12, 2010
When you watch Josh Fox's brilliant GASLAND, it's as if you're watching a nightmare scenario of what would happen if our lands were taken over by evil aliens, intent on sucking the earth dry, regardless of the consequences to the planet--and to us. This is no sci-fi thriller that could never happen in real life, however. Shockingly, it IS really happening and it's worse than you can imagine.

Very fortunately, for all of us, Josh Fox, brave soul that he is, ventured out into the heart of America and into the small towns of this country to actually speak to regular, law abiding, tax paying citizens who are now paying the ultimate price for "clean" gas drilling with permanent health effects, including brain damage, chronic respiratory conditions and many other serious conditions, too numerous to mention. Their land is worthless, their water undrinkable. The now famous scene where the tap water actually bursts into flame is just the tip of the iceburg. The epidemic of hydrofracking now taking place in America is worse than any disease we've ever encountered. It destroys our water, our air, our animals, our vegetation (including farm crops), our livestock, our health and our lives. This is Three Mile Island, Love Canal and Chernobyl--times fifty.

GASLAND should be shown in every elementary, high school and college classroom. At least that way, when our children grow into adults, they will know why there is no such thing anymore as fresh water in America. And they will know who was responsible.
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on July 10, 2014
I watched this documentary with an open mind, as I did not know very much about fracking and was politically ambivalent about the issue. Unfortunately, the argument that it was trying to make was underwhelming.

The premise of the movie is that the practice of hydraulic fracturing is ruining water supplies across the nation. It attempts to show this by visiting several homeowners who show us their filthy drinking water. I'm convinced. That is, I'm convinced that their well water is filthy. But there are two critical questions to be asked: what was the cause of the filthy water and how prevalent is this problem? Although the homeowners swear backwards and forwards that the water was perfect before the gas drilling and filthy immediately after, we can only take their words for it. The possibility of a coincidence was not addressed. There are many environmental problems that can cause contaminated well water, both natural and man-made.

The second question is what is the prevalence? If there were millions of houses near fracked sites and only a handful were problematic, that is not such a dire problem. But if there were a large percentage of homes with such a problem, then it is a dire problem for the nation. I don't know which is correct, but the movie makes no attempt to answer that.

This movie seems like it was made for people who already don't like fracking, but don't really understand why and don't want to. I think a more scientific approach would be more useful, and for me, more interesting.
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on April 25, 2014
I borrowed this from the library and liked it. It is the type of documentary where you get a lot of information and you should do your own research. I live in one of the areas he talks about. There are some things I think he does not portray accurately, but there are a number of issues he raises which should researched.
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on July 8, 2016
A wonderful effort and a leading contender for the Dr Goebbels Golden Globe Award for Propaganda. Seriously, if this is all you ever studied about fracking, you would be doing yourself a disservice. Look out for the documentary Fracknation which asks the awkward questions about Gasland, and probably Dr Anthony Ingraffea lecture 'The Facts on Fracking' which is exactly what it says - facts.
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on April 15, 2015
Must see. 4 stars not 5 because picture quality and production often distracted from the story. But the information presented serves to create and heighten the level of awareness about the negative impacts of the extreme oil and gas extraction process, that seems certain does not exist in the public mind to any significant degree. And that level of awareness in the public mind needs to be much higher, because such awareness is the necessary first step to forcing this country and the world in general to start immediately to transform its economies and social structures to be based on renewable, sustainable forms of subsistence, particularly regarding its sources of energy. In this regard, this film performs a great service.
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on April 13, 2014
While there may prove to be some factual oversights in Josh Fox' presentation, his basic premise is sound: fracking is not a friend of mankind, but a serious foe that must be reined in before more real harm is caused to humanity and the planet.
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on March 15, 2015
A little one sided, but it does portray a disaster in the making (personal opinion). It highlights the disasters and injustice that have already been perpetrated on the American people and doesn't do a very good job of exploring the alternatives. Just keep in mind there is a ton of money to be made on doubt; for both sides of this issue.
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on January 30, 2016
This is av very good documentary. I love the landscaping and it influenced some people I know that are typical baby boomers with the thought process of "it is what it is, why try to change something so big," into supporting my desire to share it... and I met Josh at a Gasland gathering in Manhattan, and he's really cool. He's down to earth. He appreciated that I went up to him to thank him for all his hard work. He's awesome... so inspirational. He wants to improve society and I would never argue with that when it seems as pure as Josh. He got people together when they were going through hard times with their property values plummeting because of their water quality. This is one of the most important films for the middle class and lower class to watch for their own sake, and anyone for the sake of America. This is a strong statement, but I say it because we must question everything as crucial as the air we breathe, etc, because our lives depend on it. I have been to a few Anti-Fracking events with scientific evidence, and I haven't seen anything that opposes Josh's viewpoint.
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on October 12, 2014
XXXXX

"(1) Water trouble
(2) Health problems
(3) Hazardous explosive problems inside the house
(4) Destruction of land
(5) Lack of confidence in State regulatory commissions
(6) A feeling of having been deceived
(7) A feeling of powerlessness
(8) Dead or sick animals
(9) Difficulty in obtaining good information about gas drilling
(10) Idea that there's a cover-up taking place"

The above comes from this powerful documentary that focuses on communities in the U.S. affected by natural gas drilling, specifically, a method of horizontal drilling into shale formations deep below the ground known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." The above list presents some hazards of fracking as told to us by the narrator.

The writer and director of this film, Josh Fox, narrates it.

He begins by telling us of a letter he received in May, 2008 from a natural gas company. They offered to lease his family's land (located in Pennsylvania) for one hundred thousand dollars to drill for gas.

Fox then sets out to discover how communities are being affected in the west where natural gas drilling has been occurring for the past 10 years. He spent time with citizens in their homes and on their land as they described stories of natural gas drilling in Colorado, Wyoming Utah, and Texas, and many other states.

Many of these people have experienced a variety of chronic health problems traceable to the contamination of their air, water wells, or surface water. In some cases, these residents reported that they obtained a court injunction or settlement from gas companies to replace their contaminated water supplies with potable water or water purification kits.

Throughout the documentary, Fox reached out to scientists, politicians, and gas industry executives. He ultimately found himself in the halls of congress as a subcommittee was discussing the "Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act," a "bill to amend the `Safe Drinking Water Act' to repel an exemption for hydraulic fracturing." Hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the "Energy Policy Act" of 2005 (thanks to everybody's friend, former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney).

This documentary has extraordinary visuals. A VERY interesting environmental story is made better by the fact that its visuals are very poetic, very lyrical and its themes & ideas are relevant and well-presented.

There were 90 people interviewed for this documentary (according to the end credits). The number of interviews that were declined was 30. Two that declined was a representative for Exxon Mobile (well-known for distributing disinformation) and a representative for BP (responsible for the 2010 oil spill, the largest--thus far--in history).

Some awards for this documentary include:

(1) 2011 Primetime Emmy
(2) 2010 Environmental Media Award
(3) 2010 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize
(4) 2010 Yale Environmental Film Festival Grand Jury Prize

It was nominated in 2011 for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

There is a sequel to Gasland entitled "Gasland Part II."

Be aware that there is a popular book and popular documentary that champion fracking and oppose Fox's film. They are entitled "Groundswell" and "Truthland" respectively. The former was written by a one-time tobacco industry lobbyist and the latter was funded by the gas industry. Need I say more?

Finally, the DVD itself (released in 2010) has 9 extras. All of them are interesting.

In conclusion, if your soul isn't moved by this unforgettable documentary, then yours is a heart of shale.

(2010; 1 hr, 40 min excluding end credits; wide screen; 16 scenes)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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