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GasLand Documentary Movie Review

Oscar-Nominated Documentary GasLand: An OnSugar Blogger's Review

The following excerpt is from OnSugar user Ciara Janae, who posted it on her blog Ciara LaVelle.

I can't be impartial about GasLand. I grew up right on top of the Marcellus Shale, and my dad works in oil and gas drilling. The majority of my life was paid for by gas companies — food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education, basically every important thing I have ever really needed. So "conflicted" doesn't even start to describe how I feel about this documentary. On one hand, I'm worried about my family and the people in my hometown, because there are some really awful, really real things happening to people as a result of drilling. On the other hand, I know that my dad is both smart and not evil, and I don't believe he'd spend an entire career doing anything so potentially harmful to others.

The good news is this: GasLand sheds light on some serious issues. No one should be able to light his drinking water on fire. People experiencing health problems as a result of drilling deserve adequate compensation. Parks and forests that are maintained by our tax dollars shouldn't also be fair game for drilling. And the fact that we're pumping chemicals like formaldehyde into the ground is unsettling at best.

To read the rest of Ciara Janae's review, just click here.

But the film makes a case for stopping drilling altogether, which is where I stop following. The image of Josh Fox playing a banjo in a gas mask is a bit much, honestly, to a girl who grew up playing on well sites. The horror stories described in the film seem to be the result of drilling right next to people's homes, way closer than any drill site I've ever seen where I grew up. And I've never seen tactics like the evaporation of produced water in Colorado attempted on any site I've ever seen; I doubt it would work, honestly, because most sites I've visited have been in the middle of the forest, with tons of shade even in the summer. There's more than one way of doing this stuff, but Fox denounces it all.

Look — if I'm being honest, I have to admit that my skepticism is rooted in simple faith. When I was a kid, my dad took me to drilling sites all the time; my little sister worked on the rigs as a summer job during school; my husband and I nearly spent a summer working alongside the rigs a few years ago. And like I said, my dad's a smart guy. He knows the mechanics and procedures and ingredients involved in hydraulic fracturing, and he still raised a family right in the middle of it. I can't believe he'd put any of us at risk of serious danger just for a job. So yeah, I have some questions for him, but not condemnation.

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lizlee89 lizlee89 4 years
It is really interesting to me to read your review as you have that firsthand experience. I love documentaries, but I always watch them with a very large grain of salt - especially know where there is such an obvioys bias in most documentary production. I have no doubt of the validity to some of this film's claims, but I also think that, like with most other things, there are two sides to every coin. I definitely want to see this, but, especially now knowing the information you've shared, I can't say it will be completely efffective on me...
lauren lauren 5 years
Thanks so much for your review of this movie, it is on my list to check out! I can only imagine how much contrast there must be from your experience to movie!
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