Sep 20, 2014

Review: Gasland Part II (2013)

In this sequel to Josh Fox's Gasland from 2010, the United States' relationship with "fracking" is updated. It's pretty clear that there is a lot of mudslinging going on from both sides of this issue which is pretty evident if you read up on responses to Gasland Part II. Natural gas development is all the same an important issue to talk about and I'm glad that there are individuals like Josh Fox who are willing to put themselves out there.

Josh Fox does all the same have a habit of being a documentary maker similar to Michael Moore just from Gasland. Mr. Moore can be good but only really in measured quantities. I personally like my documentaries to be more on the objective side but Michael Moore seems to throw that kind of idea out the window and only present his side with lots of screaming and shouting. Fox is more controlled in his approach which is a relief.


Genre: documentary
Directed by: Josh Fox
Produced by: Trish Adlesic, Josh Fox, Deborah Wallace
Written by: Josh Fox
Music by: N/A
Running time: 125 minutes
Production company: HBO Documentary Films, HBO Documentary, International WOW Company
Distributed by: N/A
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Josh Fox



Josh Fox travels from Dimock, Pa, Texas, Hollywood and even to Australia to see the effects of what fracking and is doing to the residents living nearby. People seem to suffer from mystery ailments, water seems to be suddenly contaminated and undrinkable and gas companies all deny any responsibility. Fox also follows the environmental investigations that are going on with EPA and the effects of politics on the whole issue.




Does Josh Fox ever jump around at a dizzying pace in Gasland Part II. There's maybe a bit too much of that but the message he's trying to say is still heard loud and clear. It has an activist kind of tone but Fox never strays as far as getting into that Michael Moore type activism. There are honestly some really terrifying things that are covered here whether it be in terms of what the oil wells are doing to the surrounding properties and their residents as well as the United States state and federal governments. 

The basic facts of what fracking is and what the dangers are as a whole are well explained if you ask me. Fox interviews a lot of pertinent people, not just angry residents but people with scientific degrees and positions of power. All the same, I wish there would be an effort to interview people on the other side of the fence. What about workers on the oil wells? What about oil PR people? Of course they would've refused to take part in an interview but as long as there wouldn't be any Michael Moore type theatrics I would've liked to see that.

The bottom line is, there is a lot of bad stuff going on in relation to natural gas extraction. There's too much for it to be coincidence. Probably scariest of all, you cannot trust the government anymore because of how much power the oil companies have over them. Any voices of opposition get paid off, forced to sign NDAs and that's the end of it. 

Gasland Part II is slightly annoying with how it's filmed in what I think is an attempt to be casual and natural. It also does stray into activist territory but all the same, Josh Fox has a good message here. There's no way that there won't be some attempts at silencing what Fox is saying with attempts at proving him wrong or some other documentary responses, but when you're covering such a contentious issue that's bound to happen. I salute Josh Fox for standing his ground. 




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