Promised Land: Fracking seen by Hollywood

Once again Hollywood has taken on a mining and political issue, fracking, with doubtful results.

Directed by Gus Van Sant, but co-written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, Promised Land adds to the continued debate surrounding hydraulic fracking, a method of extracting natural gas from the ground that has prompted energy companies to buy drilling rights in rural towns such as the one at the heart of this film.

In fact, American manufacturers announced last December they expected around $90 billion worth of investments in the US to take advantage of its cheap natural gas in 2013, according to Financial Times (subs. required).

But most critics are saying the film is a mediocre anti-fracking form of propaganda and that it seeks to piggyback the hysteria over fracking promoted by Josh Fox’s 2010 crockumentary Gasland, whose defining image was of flaming tap water.

An article in the Washington Times goes even further, suggesting that a public relations pushback from petroleum companies, in reaction to the film, may be under way.

Phelim McAleer of the New York Post has an interesting story about “some very hasty rewriting” to the script for Damon’s latest movie.

Meanwhile, The New York Times review states that the movie, while clearly biased towards the anti-fracking position, presents both sides of the issue.

Have you seen it yet? If so, what do you think?

Image: Screenshot from the trailer at IMDB.


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