Fracking has received the full Hollywood treatment with Promised Land, a film starring and co-written by Matt Damon, one of Hollywood's biggest and most respected stars. But is Damon's name enough to convince people to see a movie revolving around natural gas drilling?
Texas Chainsaw 3D topped the box office this weekend with a robust $23 million. That this under-marketed film was still able to kick up a solid opening is proof of the franchise's long-standing popularity with genre fans (this is the seventh entry in 40 years).
What "Promised Land" is about is a fundamental, and much-coveted, American principle -- that of a community's right to self-determination. The oil and gas industry simply should not be allowed the unique power it has been given to trample on that right.
The forthcoming release of Promised Land -- Hollywood's portrayal of the divisive shale gas drama unfolding in rural America -- is by all accounts producing high expectations among anti-frackers and anxiety among drilling supporters.
Promised Land was tightly written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski from a story by Dave Eggers. The movie is yet another of Participant Media's co-productions; they are a company that knows how to get behind a broad range of social issues.
Yes, fracking has its problems. But within the few years, that technology has improved significantly, oversight has become singularly sensitized to the downside risks and communities have heightened awareness.
What is the right wing really worried about? Perhaps they fear they won't prevail when these films pose a choice between industrial exploitation of the environment for maximum profit, regardless of the consequences, versus protecting the Earth's natural resources in perpetuity.
Matt Damon and John Krasinski's new film Promised Land answers the question of why even the poorest rural communities are standing up against fracking. Any community that is seriously debating fracking ought to screen this film publicly.
The best-known parts of "I Have A Dream" have entered into a sort of comfortable familiarity, which allows everyone to view them without being challenged by the more pointed things Dr. King had to say that day.