Gasland (Harrisburg, PA)
Feature Documentary
Free

Tuesday Sep 7, 2010
7:00PMDoors Open
7:30Live Music by Run On Sentence
8:00PMFilm Begins
9:30PMQ & A with Josh Fox & Local Partners
IN THE EVENT OF RAIN, THE SCREENING WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 AT THE SAME LOCATION. VISIT WWW.ROOFTOPFILMS.COM OR CALL 718-417-7362 FOR UPDATES.

VENUE
Reservoir Park
On the lawn in front of the Levitt Pavilion
100 Concert Drive, Reservoir Park, Harrisburg, PA 17103
Levitt Pavilion is the white bandshell directly inside the 20th and State Streets entrance to Reservoir Park.

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On this fourth stop on the tour, part of Rooftop's ongoing expansion to new cities, we bring Gasland to Harrisburg, PA. In Harrisburg, the effects of hydraulic fracturing, and the gas wells themselves, are right in local residents' backyards.



Presented in partnership with The Fledgling Fund and International WOW Company.


THE FILMS

Gasland (Josh Fox | 24 States Across America | 1 min.)
When a natural gas mining company offered Josh Fox and his upstate New York neighbors $100,000 each for the right to drill for gas on their land, Fox thought he'd better examine what was going on before he signed away his property. The result is the powerful and eye-opening documentary Gasland. Fox playfully derides his neighbors and historical precedents as "Pete Seeger and other banjo-playing freaks," letting the audience know that he's not predisposed to being a bleeding-heart environmentalist, but a moment later Fox is there plucking the five-string, whiling away the time waiting on hold in an endless loop of phone calls to the mining companies. He is, after all, an otherwise light-hearted everyman artist, trying simply to get to the heart of the matter.

Throughout the film, Fox is the emotional divining rod, wandering and wavering throughout the US, picking up on tragic tales of people, animals and places contaminated beyond repair, pointing always toward the hazardous link between "clean" natural gas and dangerously polluted water. Explaining the problem, Fox says, "Let me start at the beginning: this is Dick Cheney." In 2005, Cheney's secretive Energy Commission designed a bill that was able to overturn parts of various decades-old environmental-protection legislation, allowing for a relatively new process of gas drilling, invented by Halliburton. Commonly referred to as "fracking," in this new process, the mining companies inject a cornucopia of toxic chemicals deep into the ground and explode the rock beds. Companies across 38 states are doing this with almost no oversight or regulations, often operating within feet of homes, schools, streams, wells and aquifers. An EPA spokesmen describes the legislation as "Orwellian" and "Un-American."

As Fox chases the companies' operations across the country, he encounters cats and horses losing their hair in clumps, men and women with sudden painful illnesses, and houses where you can literally light the tap water on fire. Cowboys and roughnecks in the far west and deep south--certainly not your granola-eating tree-huggers--decry the situation with pathos, charm and a bit of mordant humor. The gas companies deny, deny, deny.

Fox is able to explain the process and the repercussions with an easy-going verve and a dire sense of urgency. With a swelling populist love for America, Fox gets the viewer to understand the problem and care deeply. Gasland begins as a personal query about Fox's own land, morphs into a documentary as he encounters people with stories to tell, and ends as activist rallying cry exposing one of America's most dangerous environmental secrets.

Rooftop Films, The Fledgling Fund and International WOW Company are proud to help expose these horrifying stories--amazingly wide-spread and consistent wherever natural gas is drilled--in the hopes that this won't be a secret for long. Get involved at Rooftop Films and gaslandthemovie.com.

-Mark Elijah Rosenberg

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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