Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fracking and To the Wonder

Have you seen To the Wonder by Terrence Malick? If you haven’t and you want to see it, please consider not reading this post. If you started it but left the movie theatre, like 5 out of the 8 people that shared the screening with me, you may continue.

Being concerned with the fracking technique that some companies are planning to do around my hometown, I immediately recognized Ben Affleck’s job in the movie.

What is fracking?

I first learn about it when a friend of mine that worked doing fracking for a gas company told me about the effects that he saw it had in the communities where they use this technique. Here's a graphic for you:

Wikipedia gives this definition:
Hydraulic fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer by a pressurized fluid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veinsor dikes are examples—and can create conduits along which gas and petroleum from source rocks may migrate to reservoir rocksInduced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracingfraccing, or fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gastight gas, and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction.[1] This type of fracturing creates fractures from awellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations.
The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947. However, it was only in 1998 that modern fracturing technology, referred to as horizontal slickwater fracturing, made possible the economical extraction of shale gas; this new technology was first used in the Barnett Shale in Texas.[1][2][3] The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized hydraulic fracturing fluid creates new channels in the rock, which can increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons.
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract.[4] Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and the health effects of these.[5] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or banning it.
Informació sobre fracking en català

Today El País has an article explaining that amount of gas that can be found in Spain is similar to the one that you find in ND. Our population is 67 times bigger than the one in ND. They have been affected and silenced, how is fracking going to affect a population of 47 millions spanish citizens?  Terrifing.Here's a documentary that illustrates some of the things my friend that used to work fracking told me about:

How is fracking portrait in the movie?

Almost nothing is portrait in the movie, so fracking isn’t either. We hardly know anything about the characters, we don’t see their faces a lot of times, we don’t hear them speak, we don’t know what they are thinking and when we do hear them, they say some very abstract things. Fracking is also vastly sketched during the almost 2 hours of the film.

In the movie we see people that are very confused about what is going on. We see poor, uneducated people not really knowing what to say when asked about the consequences of fracking in their everyday life. We see a community that doesn’t even know what is going on. We see a number of times the main character going to the rivers taking samples of the water, taking samples of hair and soil. The main character’s job is to take samples, we know he is a nature lover but when he interviews his fellow citizens his face doesn’t move, he doesn’t even look at them in the eyes, his life is so much under Olga Kurylenko’s skirts that he is not even taking care of an important situation like that.

We should thank Terrence Malick for incorporating the fracking problem in the movie and hopefully raising some awareness.

Is the movie only a long perfume commercial?

I don’t think so, it is so abstract that it moved a lot of things inside of me, more than movies with an actual script. Revising Truffaut’s interviews with Hitchcock I found this piece that might illustrate why he did a movie like that:

Le theme ne m’interesse pas, le jeu des acteurs ne m’intérrese pas, (...) ce qui m’importe, ce sont les morceaux de films et la photographie, la bande sonore et tous les moyens techniques qui font que le public se met à hurler. Je trouve que c’est terriblement satisfaisant de parvenir à communiquer une émotion de masse grâce à l’art cinématographique. Ce à quoi nous sommes certainement parvenus avec Psychose. Le public n’était pas touché par un message, ni par un exploit ni par le fait qu’il goütait le roman. C’était le cinéma seul qui donnait aux gens de l’émotion.

0 comentarios: