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38 user 8 critic

FrackNation (2013)

Journalist Phelim McAleer faces bogus lawsuits, gun threats and intimidation questioning environmentalists and anti-fracking activists in his search for the truth.

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(co-director), (co-director) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bruce Ames ... Himself
Karl Canfield ... Himself - Dimock, Pennsylvania, Dairy Farmer
Terry Engelder ... Himself
... Himself
Bill Graby ... Himself
Ernest Majer ... Himself
... Himself - Host
Karen Radwanski ... Herself - Resident, Dimock, Pennsylvania
... Himself (archive footage)
Craig Sautner ... Himself - Resident, Dimmock, Pennsylvania
Marian Schweighofer ... Herself - Dairy Farmer
Carl Shaffer ... Himself
Bryan Swistock ... Himself
Mike Uretsky ... Himself
Ron White ... Himself - Dairy Farmer
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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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, a disturbing image, language and smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

7 January 2013 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
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A personal attack masquerading as documentary
28 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

It quickly becomes pretty clear that this "documentary" is a personal attack on a documentary called Gasland and it's director. Had the "doc" been much better in it's execution and less eager to subvert just one man and his work. Then it could actually have delivered something that could've sparked a debate.

The theme is therefor less about researching fracking, and more about trying to discredit Gasland.

A lot of effort is poured into maintaining that the film was funded on Kickstarter. Actually so much effort go into iterating this, that it begins to become suspect. On top of this, researching superficially on the director "Phelim McAleer" quickly tells the story of a "documentarian" who has worked to support big business.

As for FrackNation as a whole it is a disjointed piece of work that, in its quest to connect human emotion with fracking, keep losing focus throughout. From obviously staged "demonstrations" in Dimock & ridiculous confrontations. To the involuntarily humorous, with it's attacks on renewable energy: "Wind turbines are massive, 24/7, ruthless, bird killing machines" and scenes where fracking becomes the great savior of farms (even though fracking has nothing to do with farming) around the country, purporting that should a farm dissipate it would automatically be replaced by residential buildings which would contribute massive amounts of pollution through traffic and well-digging.

We also have an interview with a biochemist called Bruce Ames on the chemicals used in the fracking process. But instead of explaining the chemicals, the issue is sidestepped and the conclusion just becomes "Scare stories sell newspapers", again taking jabs at Gasland.

It all closes with a corny propagandistic ad for energy, that feels completely disjointed from the rest of the movie. And a monologue that concludes, without any real data, that fracking is completely without problems.

In conclusion. The documentary merits of this film are severely lacking and even though the film-maker behind, goes to great lengths to talk up the "documentary's" independence from the energy industry. You're left with the distinct feeling that even though the film was financed through Kickstarter, the backers are the energy industry who've just made the contributions look like they were donated by a lot of different people.

Now I have to see Gasland. Hopefully that will be much better than this dribble.


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