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Film Review: The Pipe

By Email author - Thu, 26 May 2011 13:35:00 GMT
Film Review: The Pipe

A review of the film, 'The Pipe,' which will be shown at this year's Projecting Change festival on Saturday, May 28, 2011.

The film makers follow the story of three people who live in the rural community of Rossport near Broadhaven Bay in Ireland. The giant oil company Shell has decided to install a natural gas pipeline through the community and this has created huge divisions in the town.

Some folk support the pipeline for the jobs that it will create and the boost to the economy that it will provide, while others fear the environmental destruction that could ensue. This all occurs during a time when in very recent memory British landowners behaved very badly towards the Irish, so Shell muscling its way into the community brings up many bad feelings.

Willie Corduff is a farmer who works the fields that were handed down from his father.  Shell has to expropriate the land with the seeming consent of the government, so Willie joins the movement against the oil giant.  But the movement is hijacked by external forces and they feel they are being manipulated against their wishes.

Monica Muller is a German immigrant to Ireland who is supporting the economic prosperity that Shell promises to bring.  Muller earns her neighbor's wrath, but when Shell changes its plans to move the pipeline into common areas, she goes to court to try and force Shell to recant their lies.

Fisherman Pat O'Donnell ('The Chief') is a local hero due to a dramatic rescue at sea that took place a number of years ago. Pat and his son refuse to accept compensation from Shell Oil or get out of the way of their contractors at sea.  With much time spent in court and not enough time earning a living, Mr. O'Donnell is facing economic ruin. Yet when The Solitaire - the world's largest pipe laying ship - enters the Bay he stands between the beach head and the enormous vessel.

The film makers have captured the dramatic clash between the oil executives and the rural townspeople. The rights of farmers over the use of their land and fishermen over access to their fishing grounds, versus the actions of governments and big business is allcaught on tape.  This is the story of how one divided small town came to terms with an opportunity for prosperity or destruction.

More details of the film can be found on THE PIPE site.


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