DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 44min


Hot water: Fox

Hydraulic fracturing — fracking — is a method of drilling for gas that explodes a mix of chemicals and water deep down into the earth. Documentary maker (and sometime banjo player) Josh Fox had no particular interest in natural-gas extraction until 2009, when he received an offer of around $100,000 from a company seeking to make inroads on his Pennsylvania land. Fox is mild of manner but he is no pushover and with his BS radar on high alert he packed his camera and took off to check out the gas companies.


His appalling discoveries boil down, as appalling discoveries so frequently do, to regular folk hung out to dry by big, gassy business that couldn’t care less. The deeper that Fox digs, the more consistently condemning are his finds: shaken people with severe health problems, water so contaminated it ignites when a cigarette-lighter flame is held near it, ravaged land, ailing animals and a thicket of prevarication from those responsible. Fox isn’t a polished film-maker, but no one could accuse him of indifference: GasLand is as much a labour of outrage as it is of love.