“Fracknation” is an independent feature documentary by Phelim McAleer, funded by the public through Kickstarter, which aims to correct the record about “Gasland”—an alleged documentary which has persuaded people, who haven’t taken the time to research the matter, to believe that fracking—induced hydraulic fracturing—is so polluting that you can get sick from breathing the air as you drive through Pennsylvania and that the farmers are in dire need of help. Josh Fox, the director of “Gasland”, was unwilling to talk about the historical facts that disprove one of the movie’s most memorable and influential scenes of a man setting his water of fire, and dismissed them as “not relevant”. Phelim McAleer then tried to post the video on different websites of Josh Fox stating the historical records of people being able to light their water on fire before fracking was irrelevant, but was silenced by HBO—supposedly because of copyright. This motivated McAleer to make his own movie based on what the affected farmers in Pennsylvania really had to say.
Phelim McAleer starts his investigation into the effects on farming that fracking had made by talking to the farmers themselves. He finds that a majority of the farmers and families involved with fracking were in favour of fracking and claimed that there were no ill effects, and that very few families opposed making much-needed money by leasing their land for drilling. Some opponents of fracking claim that their water was polluted because of fracking and that they got sick from drinking from their wells; one man even stated that because of fracking there is now weapons-grade uranium in his water along with a list of other dangerous and deadly chemicals. McAleer also found that there has always been methane and iron in those wells—and not from fracking—and that the families who say that their water is contaminated are unable to produce on film anything but clear water instead of the murky red or brown water shown in “Gasland”. McAleer and his crew then ask some real scientists about the affects of fracking on the environment.
McAleer asked several researchers (including journalists and engineers) about the effects of fracking and, each time, was told just how safe fracking is and how much Josh Fox misrepresented the process. Fox said that fracking was unsafe, destructive, polluting and could even lead to earthquakes. However, these claims prove to be false. James Delingpole, the journalist and author, said that shale gas is the miracle of the early twenty-first century; in terms of safety and environmental friendliness and economic efficiency, shale gas is about the best thing going in the world right now, he says.
Josh Fox used his film “Gasland” to try to scare decent people into believing that natural gas is bad and to convince us through lying and deception that the gas corporations are evil and are deceiving hard-working farmers into leasing their land to them, which those corporations would pollute beyond repair. Phelim McAleer, after investigating the matter himself, shows the public the truth about fracking.
As a compelling film that keeps you interested: 7 out of 10;
As a documentary that gives corrective arguments along with stories, interviews and visual confirmation of facts, presented in an interesting way: 7 out of 10.
DISCLOSURE: Deadman helped fund FrackNation