A compelling documentary film four years in the making, The Pipe tells the story of the small Rossport community which has taken on the might of Shell Oil and the Irish State. The discovery of gas off this remote coastal village has led to the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland. The rights of farmers over their fields, and of fishermen to their fishing grounds, has come in direct conflict with one of the world's most powerful oil companies. When the citizens look to their State to protect their rights, they find that the government has put Shell's right to lay a pipeline over their own. Already 5 locals have spent 94 days in jail rather than let the proposed Shell pipeline cross their lands. This once tranquil area is engulfed in turmoil, as huge numbers of police drafted in. Normal policing has broken down following baton charges, surveillance, arrests, and a hunger strike by a local schoolteacher. With the imminent arrival of the world's largest pipelaying vessel, the... Written by
I was apprehensive before seeing this - i feared it may contain depictions of righteous indignation and not much else. Thankfully its much more rounded than that - it's a beautifully observed film about a community being torn apart from within and from outside influences, namely Shell and its attempts to direct a gas pipeline through a remote village in County Mayo. Some of the scenes are very funny and the film is pitched perfectly. This is more than mere propaganda - it's beautifully shot, the editing and construction flawless. It's probably not going to satisfy those who are strongly pro or anti the issue but the films strength is it focuses on the people most directly affected by the pipe itself - the villagers themselves.
If you want to watch an engaging documentary about the clash between big business and everyday folk then this is it. The director's description of the film says it all - 'it's like 'Local Hero' gone wrong.
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