Film Review: Gasland II, an Explosive Fracking Follow-Up

by Mitchell Wenkus

July 19, 2013

Similar to a typical Hollywood sequel, Gasland II has twice the explosions, twice the action, and the villains are twice as menacing. Unfortunately, Gasland II is a non-fiction documentary about natural gas fracking and corporate power in America. And by twice the explosions, I mean people from all parts of the country (and even Australia) are lighting their water on fire in the film. A memorable visual if you havent seen it already:

In the first part of the documentary, filmmaker Josh Fox goes across the country to tell the same sad story over and over. The natural gas industry comes into a community and destroys the watershed leaving people without drinking water or a safe place to live. What I found great was Joshs variety in subjects. With fracking, its not only the poor who are directly affected. The garden hose of one familys multi-million dollar house could have been used as a flamethrower it had so much natural gas coming out of it.

The second half of the film dives into campaign contributions, PR tactics, and the failures of the EPA. What I found particularly interesting and scary was an audio recording from a natural gas industry conference where PR reps encouraged people to read the militarys counterinsurgency field manual because environmentalists, anti-drilling residents, and others who are anti-fracking should be treated like insurgents. Also, military-style psychological operations, or PSYOPS, are tactics encouraged to counteract those who oppose fracking. The film undoubtedly shows the industrys strategic campaign to frack our nation.

Gasland II is enlightening, scary, and inspiring. Overall, I give it two green thumbs up. Watch the trailer:

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