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FrackNation
Year:
2013
Country:
USA, UK, Poland
Genre:
Documentary
IMDB rating:
6.0
Director:
Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer
Mark Ruffalo as Himself (archive footage)
Craig Sautner as Himself - Resident, Dimmock, Pennsylvania
Mike Uretsky as Himself
Bryan Swistock as Himself
Carl Shaffer as Himself
Marian Schweighofer as Herself - Dairy Farmer
Karl Canfield as Himself - Dimock, Pennsylvania, Dairy Farmer
Terry Engelder as Himself
Karen Radwanski as Herself - Resident, Dimock, Pennsylvania
Bruce Ames as Himself
Bill Graby as Himself
Josh Fox as Himself
Ernest Majer as Himself
Storyline: FrackNation follows journalist Phelim McAleer as he faces gun threats, malicious 911 calls and bogus lawsuits when questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. Fracking is going to make America one of the world's leading energy producers and has become the target of a concerted campaign by environmentalists who want it banned. In FrackNation McAleer travels across the USA and Europe to uncover the science suppressed by environmental activists and ignored by much of the media. He talks with scientists and ordinary Americans who live in fracking areas and who tell him the truth behind the exaggerations and misrepresentations of anti-fracking activists.
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Reviews
Awful propaganda
This dreadful film is crafty in it's creation but delving deeper into the supposed "experts" used in the film you find close ties with the energy sector and the right wing "tea party". This article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-horn/fracknation_b_3384531.html) can gives a good insight into the films background and when you watch it with this knowledge in mind you just see it for the biased bullsh*t it is. The film never once questions fracking as a bad idea and uses the most patronising animations to explain how simple fracking is as if teaching to junior infants. If this guy thinks he will convince anyone with half a brain that he was even remotely unbiased he has another thing coming. You never quite trust him at all in the film simply because he never puts into question the dangers of fracking of which of course there are due to pipes breaking a mile underground.
2013-11-18
An enjoyable and informative documentary.
I found this to be an enjoyable and informative documentary. Anyone who has endured the lies and distortions of _Gasland_ should watch this as a corrective follow-up. I had feared that _FrackNation_ would be a dumb American TV-style film, but was pleased to find it kept the intelligence level pretty high and the pace was even.

The film is very well photographed and edited, and the sound was clearly conveyed throughout (subtitles are used on some sections). Some documentaries are better heard without the visuals, as if they're radio documentaries - but in this one the visual are really integral.

Personally I would have cut the short and weak speculative section (Delingpole through to Putin) on possible Russian money finding its way to anti- shale gas campaigners. Similarly the fleeting aside about the Chinese and their attempts to corner the market in rare-earth magnets for wind turbines. Maybe true, maybe not - but it sounds too conspiratorial, since no evidence is presented. I would have also cut the camerawoman being slightly wounded (by an art gallery guard who had wrenched her camera out of her hand) near the end of the film. I also found a little cheesy the slightly over-manipulative footage of happy kids near the end. These visual elements add little or nothing to the film's argument. But generally this is a fine debunking of the deeply misleading _Gasland_.
2013-08-17
McAleer captures green hypocrisy
What a pleasure to see a real journalist skewer the self-referential, self-puffing, unhinged cadre of greenbots. We face a similarly defective minority in Elbert County, on the brink of joining the modern energy world with shale gas horizontal drilling. Literally thousands of wells have already been safely drilled with this technology in other counties on the plains of the front range of Colorado, and the greens act like this is a new technology that threatens our future existence.

Fracturing is just the latest symbol to enable Luddite political action. McAleer is drawn to them like a fly to a steaming cow pie, and I'm thankful for people like him who have the fortitude to withstand their assaults.

Green science, that is, science for which outcomes have been predetermined, violates the scientific method and insulates the greens from reality feedback. McAleer skillfully shows how this disjunction gives them no pause in their crusade against modernity.
2013-02-01
The Verdict is Fracking does not pollute the Water
I found this movie very informative. Also I have discussed this issue of horizontal fracking and they say there is no issue. Problems if any are isolated cases. Ranch owners in Kansas, Texas and Bakken all have made big money as they got millions of dollar to give permit to oil companies to drill for shale oil/gas. UI think folks in Delaware and NY are misguided. They are losing an opportunity to make big bucks. Also considering that today most Agricultural and farm products are not very profitable due to falling prices and due to Big AG and Big farm cutting their profits they would do well to allow drilling. They are losing an opportunity to make big bucks. Also considering that today most Agriculturla and farmproducts are not very profitable due to flling prices they would do well to alow drilling
2015-10-25
Great Documentary that contradicts the Big Media Lie
GREAT DOCUMENTARY !! Phelim's unassuming interview style belies a tenacious knack for getting to the truth, seeing his subjects melt down is worth it alone. The movie makes a clear case for the benefits of fracking including how safe it is. With the positives massively outweighing the negatives you have to wonder why our Gov't and the enviros (AKA the Left) fight it so hard to destroy it ?? A MUST SEE !! The film showcases how fracking is accomplished and the small ecological footprint it leaves. Most of all it contradicts Big Media's attempts to destroy fracking. The film"Gasland" is an attempt at pure propaganda. The director, Josh Fox, is confronted a number of times by Fracknation's director, Phelim McAleer, and refuses to answer questions.
2013-01-11
Factual and eye opening for those who really want to know and understand fracking
Nearly three decades ago I was an administrative manager for a large, international drilling company. After a few years I was hired as the general manager of a small 3 rig company based in Oklahoma. We drilled oil and gas wells in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.

So I consider myself to be extremely knowledgeable about fracking because EVERY well we drilled was fracked. I don't know of any wells in the area in which we were drilling that were not fracked. We drilled wells from 3,000 feet to 10,000 feet and larger companies with larger rigs drilled far deeper.

And I am not aware of even one instance that ground water was affected or dangerous "fumes" being released to the atmosphere except in the event of an accident or equipment failure. And those were fixed within two to three days at the most.

If you drive through Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas right now - nearly 30 years after we drilled in those areas - you would have a difficult time locating producing gas wells. The land was taken care of when it was drilled and completely brought back to it's original condition (or better) save for a few dozen square yards where the wellhead is actually producing before it goes into a system of underground pipelines.

There are no ground water problems; cows drink from all the ponds, streams, and lakes; and 99% of the ranchers and land owners are still farming and ranching on family lands partly because of the revenue they receive each month from those wells.

So this film was RIGHT ON THE MONEY! The science that was investigated and the logical fact checking of the anti-fracking groups couldn't have been more accurate.

One thing that was mentioned in the film that should be constantly advertised is that from the surface to the total depth of the well is lined by 3-4 layers of pipes and linings all layered with high density cement to prevent any possibility of ground water contamination.

NO ONE gets their drinking water, livestock water, or any other water to consume from the depths these wells are being drilled.

And fracking takes place in only the producing zones of the well which is, in most cases, thousands of feet below the water table or aquifer.

This is a film that is clear and honest.

It deserves widespread public viewing.

And finally the question should be asked: Who wins and who profits if fracking is somehow banned in the United States?

That is a subject for another documentary and I hope Phlem and Ann begin an earnest search for those answers. I will be the first in line to donate to another Kickstart fund to make it happen.
2013-02-03
Wonderful movie!
Fracking has been going on for 40 years in Colorado with no problems. It's only in the last few years that the environmental groups have decided that fracking is evil. There were plenty of environmental groups in the 70's and 80's and you can bet they knew about fracking at that time. I've recently learned that a lot of environmental groups are only in it for the money that they've learned they can make by settling out of court with these big corporations. These groups claim to be noble and righteous, but they have become parasites that make money off the hard work of other people. It's the worst form of profiting. The irony is that most of these groups say that profit is evil also.
2014-05-21
Gasland Exposed
Usually you would think a movie about fracking in the oil and gas industry would be boring, but this movie is anything but. As Phelim McAleer sets out to clear up some inconsistencies in the movie Gasland, what he finds is one lie after another. Environmentalists threatening to sue him, one claiming she has a gun and wouldn't hesitate to use it. The truth is, and this was a great point, that if all these poor rural farmers in PA and NY go out of business and declare bankruptcy, that land becomes shopping centers and housing developments, and you lose open space which is used by so many animals. Also interesting in this movie was that Russia and other oil and gas countries promote that fracking is dangerous in the US and Europe so that they can benefit...so everyone must buy from them at high prices. Too many times what we see is the bad accusations with fracking, and none of the benefits. This is a great film and one made on a low budget, not funded by oil and gas companies, but by regular landowners. No matter what side of the fence you are on, this is a must-watch. Josh Fox to me has a lot of explaining to do and cannot continue to hide from questions about his film Gasland.
2013-02-01
An American oil&gas lackey goes out to "dig up dirt" on the environmentalists
Say what you want about Gasland and similar movies, but they don't keep the viewer "entertained" with just one example and a poor one at that as to why the message that the director wants to pass on is the right one. Phelim here on the other hand probably had to put all of his "journalistic" skills he could muster to find this one case where the water quality was questionable, and "prove" it is wrong. Well Phelim this may come as no surprise to you but may be of interest to others, but some states have outlawed MDs to even TALK about harmful tracking chemicals so why even bother. But ol'Phelim will just keep on poking with that oil and gas dollar funded stick of his at that ONE example he had in the whole movie where the water quality can be questioned. Fact of the matter is that the oil (and especially gas) industry in the States has been deliberately de-regulated to a bare minimum level of safety so that the extremely expensive shale gas can be produced with a profit. Plus that the whole de-regulation was done by Bush jr who is not exactly a stranger to the hydrocarbon busyness. But no - that's not what Phelim wants to talk about.

Instead he will bring up the ludicrous example of some "expert" saying we will have to build one 50-MW windmill per each woman and child just to have a bare minimum of energy.

As with all poorly made propaga... I mean "documentaries" that don't understand the actual problems, and rather do character assassinations, Phelim here goes out on a rampage like some scientology PI trying to attack the witness any way possible.

Also funny how many "reviews" here give this "documentary" top ratings. Paid off much? Oh well.

Take it from somebody that looks at what is happening in the States trough the safety glasses of an oil worker in a country that actually does put safety before profits and actually knows how to turn a buck and not have a gazillion leaky casings, poor cement jobs and evaporation of produced water into the hot desert air, and actually can put the health of FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS before questionable ventures - you failed your HSE audit, and Phelim; looking forward for your next movie. I bet it will be one defending Blackwater and CIA covert ops in the mid east, explaining how this is good for the economy, creates jobs etc etc.
2014-06-27
Time to get the fracks straight
FrackNation, in terms of documentary filmmaking, is a competent exercise in trying to get to the bottom of an issue that needs to be dissected. I found it a more entertaining and less vindictive watch than Josh Fox's Gasland, the anti-fracking documentary that is heavily examined and critiqued in this film. I firmly believe in terms of approach and direction that if you were to show the same audience both Gasland and FrackNation back-to-back, the consensus would be that FrackNation's information is more accessible and caters more to the public, whereas Gasland caters to the more science-minded individual. Now which approach and direction leads to the correct distribution of facts I'm still trying to figure out.

I guess I should begin by saying that fracking (formerly known as "hydraulic fracturing") is the process in which a large machine drills into the ground from a well - roughly a mile deep - straight down, before it turns sideways and exhibits hard pressure, extracting natural gas from shale and sending it back up through the well.

The film stars Phelim McAleer, an investigative journalist whose "freelance" title better not make you laugh. McAleer is a stand-up guy, a strong interviewer, and a serious-minded writer, and was inspired to make this film when his question about the water supply in Dimmock, Pennsylvania (the main town of focus in Gasland) is casually dismissed when asked to Josh Fox. McAleer makes an effort to visit the residents of Dimmock, Pennsylvania, who Fox depicted to be suffering from the effects of fracking considerably. In this film, we saw pro-fracking gatherings in the street and learn that after Fox's film was released the town of Dimmock received much help they didn't really need since the effects of fracking were not harming them. They were actually booning their economy and helping farmers, the long, and sadly-dying, chain of Americans.

Gasland's tagline was "Can you set your water on fire?," and featured several clips of Fox and the locals lighting their tapwater on fire. All of them claimed it was a direct result of fracking in the area, and that the numerous chemicals the process utilized had found their way in the water supply and contaminated it with things like benzine and methane. McAleer's research and interviews with locals reveal that methane in the water supply has existed long before fracking even began, and the process has been around for many, many years to begin with, with no reports of it harming the water supply (it drills a mile past it, even).

Not to mention, in Gasland, fracking is depicted in the light that leads one to believe it is highly unregulated, which leads to the conclusion that this is why people are lighting their tapwater on fire. Quite the contrary. The film (and research on my part) shows the pile of paperwork that must be done before the drilling process can commence. It is a very regulated procedure. Not long ago, my state Illinois approved fracking but, as the state is known to do, passed strict regulations - the strictest of all the states that allow fracking to be conducted.

FrackNation does a solid job of getting the facts right, from what research can tell me. The thing I appreciate about McAleer as a filmmaker and as a documentary personality is that he doesn't seem to enter the film with the preconceived notion to dismantle the institution and the process of anti-fracking protests or vice-versa. He wants answers, and as a journalist, he goes about them the right way. He stages formal interviews, he asks the tough question, and he holds a tough magnifying glass to opposition, even when the opposition tries to recoil and stay hidden. The examination process alone makes this a pretty recommendable viewing.

The film was funded on donations from the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter, which allows people to post information about potential-products and asking anyone on the web who believes in the product (whether it be a film, a documentary, a piece of technology, a novel, etc) to send a donation of whatever amount they see fit.

So, the real question is what do I think of Gasland after seeing the film? I still find it relative in some regards because it's a film that shows a perspective and goes about it in a mature and sensible way. However, examination at even a basic level makes it a highly questionable piece of work as of now.

When I assign the accursed (and soon to be scrapped) star rating to films, especially documentaries, I consider content, direction, approach, presentation, obvious bias, the personality of the filmmaker at hand, and stylistic attributes (if applicable). FrackNation succeeds on most levels to a certain degree and earns a recommendation. An in-depth examination and a fact-checker I am not. It does the job of giving the viewer a strong ground on which reputable points are made in the favor of the pro-fracking side. It successfully made me consider on a deeper level the process of hydraulic fracturing and encouraged me to research outside of three documentaries. That has to mean something, right? Starring: Phelim McAleer. Directed by: Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer, and Magdalena Segieda.
2013-07-30
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