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  • Ivo Vegter | Ivo Vegter
  • 18 June 2013 | [...] colleague at Daily Maverick, Jacques Rossouw, had this to say: “One might ...
  • Jonathan Deal

    Miriam Bale of the New York Daily News wrote “With many of McAleer’s facts coming from casual Internet searches (backed by boring shots of the computer screen), the accuracy of this crowd-sourced documentary — funded by small donations on Kickstarter — seems as reliable as a Wikipedia entry.”
    Mark Olsen of the New York Times criticized the film as “unfocused,” with several moments that are “theatrical but irrelevant,” calling the film “a one-sided attack piece” that “doesn’t add much to the conversation.”

    • Ivo Vegter

      No substantive rebuttals, then? Thought not.

      The screenshots are early on, to set the stage for what prompted the documentary. And Olsen is welcome to ignore the few scenes that wax a little emotive, for my liking too. However, the remainder — that is, most of it — remains pretty damning of all the major anti-fracking claims.

      Sidestepping the irony of quoting a Wikipedia entry that questions its own reliability, allow me to quote the rest of the reactions section of that very same entry:

      ‘Critical reactions to of the film were polarized. Some positive reviewers regarded the film as well researched. Jeannette Catsoulis a journalist for Forbes, writing for the New York Times, noted that the movie was methodically researched and showed the “sheer complexity” of fracking. Variety said the film examined the process of fracking, giving counter arguments for the Gasland documentary, especially in regards to the flaming faucets scene. The magazine noted that the documentary did a thorough job of technical information and personal stories of farmers who live near fracking locations. The National Review noted that FrackNation did an excellent job refuting Gasland based upon the scientific research in the film.

      ‘Some positive reviews claimed that the film was able to successfully refute not only the factual claims of Gasland, but also some of the emotional testimonies. Christopher Campbell, from, said the documentary was “surprisingly engaging” and that the most interesting case against Gasland that was brought up was the easy acceptance by journalists of the film as fact, implying journalists have ignored their responsibilities of fact-checking all documentaries.

      ‘The review noted that because the film did not accept money for the
      energy industry is gave the film more credibility, though some of the
      donors were some of the farmers who were featured in the film. Kyle
      Smith for the New York Post wrote that McAleer should have earned an award for taking on the “fear mongering” in Gasland. Smith also noted how Gasland testimonials were refuted based upon the reactions given when McAleer tried interviewing the same farmers.”‘

      So, let’s quote both sides of the story next time, shall we?

  • Pieter du Plessis

    Well I consider wikipedia more truthful that many doccies and prefer the
    crowdsourcing aspect of this – especially when it is about big oil . At the moment I am against fracking, but would
    love to be convinced that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Whatever one’s
    feeling is about this, two things makes this movie interesting.

    1. Arguments on both sides of fracking has got merit – one needs to
    respect it.

    2. This is very relative to us as South Africans. It can have a major
    impact on our next generation. I do hope for the better.

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