The necessity of water and time
The dominance of power in society can be illustrated by using a pyramid. People with the possession of real power, we find at the very top and narrowest part. At the bottom, and widest part, we find everything and everyone else. Like the people of Dimock, in the documentary Gasland, they put their trust and faith into the hands of the controlling minority part, thinking that they would act in their best interest. However, in many cases just like theirs, megalomaniacal members of society will go to any lengths to achieve their dreams, even though it might affect the quality of life of today’s population and future generations to come. In todays modern society people live in close proximity to one another and a small change in the ecosystem can have dramatic consequences. These changes for the worse, can affect both this generation and the next ones to come, as shown in the movies Gasland, Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring. But there are always exceptions, people that go towards the stream, which is evident in the film The Man Who Planted Trees. Time and water are the main motifs in all these films, because over time consequences from people’s actions become inevitable, because time is constant, it never stops and water is a main source for life in general without it we would stop. The documentary Gasland tells a story about how government officials passed a law about the method of fracking the earths crust to reach the natural gas reserves that lay underneath large parts of the US. In theory, this was a safe and cheap way of producing gas to a growing US market. Over time the population around these production sites experienced contaminated water, which in some cases led to lowered quality of life. The documentary has a main focus on the deliberations between the antagonists, the “oil frackers” and their government supporters, and the protagonists, the victims. The movie starts with melancholy music and pictures from passing through different landscapes, ultimately ending at a lake. The narrator starts to explain that this is his home and that the lake represents everything that is pure and clean. He continues in saying that what he knows to be so flawless is threatened by the possibility of oil fracking in his backyard. The fast movements of the camera show desperation and franticness, as if he is scared that if he turns his back everything he knows will be gone in a split second. The movie transitions into an introduction about oil fracking, where a list of different chemicals used in the fraking process appear on the screen, in white bold letters on a pitch-black background. The contrast between the black and white makes the viewer realize that theses chemicals are nothing but bad news and something you definitely do not want in your drinking water. The director continues in showing different bizarre scenarios, from a scene of clean stream water to pictures of contaminated water in a jar, he is trying to create fear of the unknown consequences of fraking. The documentary makes another transition. Now the narrator starts explaining about the health consequences for both humans and animals. The pollution of the drinking water did not only affect humans, but animals where loosing hair, fish were dying and all around the quality of life was dropping drastically. As a last scar tactic the director shows a miscellaneous collection of contaminated water (brown water, sizzling water, faucets on fire, faucets sizzling, lakes set on fire and lakes boiling with gas seeping through the ground). From the very start and continuously throughout the film the narrator tries to contact the different people in charge of the oil companies using the fracking method. Every time they get an interview the camera is held at a low angle. This indicating that the person speaking is a higher power. They have the control, sort of God like. On the other side, the victims are often filmed with extreme...
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