Drill Baby Drill Film coming to Corning and Elmira
The documentary Drill, Baby, Drill, which was filmed in Poland and Pennsylvania, tells the story of Polish farmers who band together to protect their land when unconventional shale gas drilling (fracking) threatens. It also looks at the effects of ongoing drilling on farmers and their communities in Pennsylvania.
The film has been aired on French and German television (with high ratings) and has also been shown in the French Senate and the European Parliament. The film’s power derives in part from its refusal to provide easy answers to the questions it raises about corporate power and its effect on democracy, and about the tensions between our demand for energy and the necessity of protecting our air, water, farmland, and food supply.
The story begins when the people who live in a small village located in eastern Poland near the Ukrainian border, an ecologically pristine agricultural area called the “lungs of Poland,” discover that Chevron, the world’s fourth largest energy corporation, plans to build a shale gas well in their village. At first the villagers are not against the construction of the gas well, but after doing some research they question whether having a well so near their farms is a good idea. They appeal to politicians and government institutions to stop the construction, but their requests are met with silence. Suddenly Chevron sends bulldozers to start construction. Filmmaker Lech Kowalski was there to film the first-ever farmer rebellion against Chevron. The odds are against the farmers winning, as the energy companies and the Polish government hope to hit a golden shale gas jackpot. The story about the farmers’ struggle weaves around realities that are taking place in Pennsylvania.
Remarkably, in March 2012, after strong opposition from the community, Chevron backs down and leaves the area. But the story has taken a new twist since the movie was completed. On June 2 at 6:00 am the bulldozers returned and the villagers once again mobilized. Filmmaker Kowalski is there covering the situation and reports that since since June 3rd groups of between 150 and 300 people have occupied the proposed drill site 24 hours a day to stop the project. Injuries have been reported. Kowalski also reports that there has been very little coverage by the Polish press of what he describes as a “very bad” situation and a “major confrontation.”
Drill, Baby, Drill will be shown on June 24th at 7:00 pm at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 171 W. Pulteney St. Corning, NY
The second showing of the film will be on June 27th at 7:00 pm at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 314 W. Church St. Elmira, NY
The films are free and open to the public. An optional donation of $5.00 is suggested to help cover expenses. The film is sponsored by People for a Healthy Environment, Inc., Citizens for Healthy Communities, and Elmirans and Friends against Fracking.
Contact: Bette Ek (Horseheads) (607) 739-2648