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BTDesign Award
Trouble In The Peace (2013)


Director(s): Julian T. Pinder

Language: English

Genre: Documentary


When livestock begin dying and children become mysteriously ill after gas leaks in the small farming community of Peace River, where gas wells and pipelines threaten lives, their protests to the government fall on deaf ears. The provincial government enjoys huge revenues from the fossil fuel industry and the sale of sub-surface mineral rights.
It's only when a series of bombs are set off on the pipelines that the citizens begin to attract attention to their cause.
The gas company offers ... [Get complete synopsis]


motleymitch wrote on March 7, 2013, 9:24 pm
I have to start looking up what film is playing at this Doc Soup fest before just going in blind anymore. This film, while photographed quite exquisitely (almost a little show-offy for a doc), was bland, boring and depressing (but thankfully, surprisingly short).
It centers around a northern BC farming community, and specifically one man and his young daughter, as they try to deal with Big Oil and Big Gas who have come along over the years to install extensive pipelines throughout the farmlands, disrupting the homesteads that have stood for generations, and endangering the community with all too freqeunt toxic gas leaks.
The problem with the film is that Karl Mattson - the man who takes center stage in this doc - is not well-versed and not the ideal spokesman for this film and its activist leanings. There is no clear vision represented here aside from the simple 'gas leaks:bad, farmers: good' POV, the interviewed townsfolk ramble on and mutter a lot, and then we are treated to long extended shots of the tall gas wells' huge flaming towers while stark strings play in the background a la 'There Will Be Blood', and although that's a strong image, it just drags on after a while without anyone really getting to the point of topic. In the end, we see Mattson working on a project to reveal to the townspeople as a sign of activist art - a scale-model 'pod' not unlike a moon shuttle which would hold himself and his daughter in case of a gas leak, and provide them with an additional '4 to 6 hours of extra oxygen'. That's it? That's the big reveal? Oh yeah, then a helicopter flies over it, lowers a grappling hook, and flies off with the pod over the fields. Roll credits.
There are ideas and causes here that seem diminished and just not well delved into. This is not the townspeoples' faults but that of the director, who seems more intent on the stylish cinematography of the land than actual well-layed-out documentation. I felt bad that the subject was not represented by a better filmmaker.

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