El Chupacabra first told you about Promised Land. Over Christmas break I saw it on opening day in New York City.
Prior to seeing the film, reading articles in Politico on how the natural gas industry was hating Matt Damon for making the film made me want to see it even more (but really, do they like anyone that says anything against them? They’re so sensitive). The film takes place in a small-town farming community in Iowa. The town is approached by a 9 billion dollar natural gas drilling (aka hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking) company to which Matt Damon is the lead salesman. Kind of like when Matt was an apples salesmen:
My thought on the film, in one sentence – I was left wanting more. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad the issue of our nation’s energy received some high profile Hollywood attention (sometimes Al Gore just doesn’t cut it) and made it out in theaters nationwide. However, I could have seen less Hollywood cheese – romcom, the guy trying to get the girl stuff.
My other criticism of the film was the explanation of fracking – as if it was an agriculture magic trick from a bad street magician. There was no real explanation of the issues or current concerns that communities are having with fracking (drinking water and air quality are among the top concerns). I have not come across any agriculture fracking concerns, maybe this was supposed to be a symbolic issue or maybe these communities don’t have enough clout to voice their concerns. I would have liked to have seen the components involved in fracking depicted in the film – the water and chemicals shipped in, the waste byproducts, and the real concerns that could pose a threat to nearby residents. Having an accurate picture of the processes involved in fracking educates the public viewers – not some school demonstration by the environmentalist pouring chemicals on farmland then setting it on fire.
Again – I couldn’t be happier that the issue and the potential hazards were brought to light on the national screen and had A-list actors, I just would have appreciated some more accuracy on the issue minus a Jlo romcom scenerio. If you saw it and have other thoughts, please let me know! I will be traveling to Australia for the next 10 days and will report back on how they do things down under.
Have a great week. Cheers.