Films receive a wide variety of responses in the college classroom. The response to Gasland was excellent. The class paid careful attention, had good questions and comments. I knew of the film but did not intend to use it in class. My Tuesday-Thursday class actually asked to see it. So, I read up on it, and it struck me as useful. I’ve shown it in three classes now with the same positive results in each class.
This is a Josh Fox film. The first time you see it, you are shocked by his story of unregulated drilling of natural gas known as fracking. But is only the second time, you realize the skill of our documentarian. The film never sags. It always keeps the audience engaged. The film is well paced and its plotline beautifully constructed. I’ll be watching for any of his films in the future. It may well be that his work will grow in skill as time goes by.
It is troubling to consider that for most of us, Josh Fox is our only defense against the practice of fracking. Only a handful of states regulate it, and the response of most of officialdom to complaints is basically to drop dead.
You see, an act of Congress relieved the giant energy companies of the need to comply with federal environmental laws. Federal agencies aren’t even allowed to study what the companies are doing. We only have partial knowledge of the chemicals being used, and the very fact that these companies essentially placed themselves outside the law through a compliant Congress raises suspicions of their motives.
I think until strong regulation is enacted to deal with the fracking problem, I will be using the film in class.
Below is a link to the web address for Josh Fox’s film, Gasland.
And here is the link for the trailer.
Here is the link to buy it on Amazon.com.
I recommend it for classroom use at the college level.
- Gasland Screening October 19th (unitedforaction.org)
- Michael McCarthy: Can we really manage all the risks if we allow fracking in the hope of a gas bonanza? (independent.co.uk)
- Gasland’s Josh Fox on Tar Sands & Keystone XL Pipeline (VIDEO) (treehugger.com)
- Gasland shows the dangers lurking in wells (theglobeandmail.com)
- Josh Fox Earns An Emmy For ‘Gasland’ (treehugger.com)
- UK Govt refuses to ban shale gas ‘fracking’ (go.theregister.com)
- Exposing the Natural Gas Industry’s Attempt to Silence Its Critics (alternet.org)
- “Must See!” Films Public Policy Films from a Student’s Perspective (centerforhealthmediapolicy.com)