Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  70 minutes
Date:  2014
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
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Groundswell Rising

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Documents the opposition from both sides of the political spectrum to the ubiquitous practice of fracking for natural gas, and the health and environmental reasons behind it.

Groundswell Rising

GROUNDSWELL RISING gives voice to ordinary folks engaged in a David and Goliath struggle against Big Oil and Gas. We meet parents, scientists, doctors, farmers and individuals across the political spectrum decrying the energy extraction process known as fracking that puts profits over people. This provocative documentary tracks a grassroots movement exposing dangers to clean air, water, and civil rights.

GROUNDSWELL RISING shows how fracking has contaminated drinking water and jeopardized health and quality of life. Homeowners near wells suffer from respiratory ailments and property devaluation. Reina Ripple, of Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, chronicles mounting ailments related to fracking. A former industry employee shows skin lesions and edema obtained while working with fracking waste.

Grassroots efforts have achieved bans, moratoriums, and referendums on fracking. Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson paves the way forward globally with his Solutions Project for 100% renewable energy. Transcending the genre of environmental film, GROUNDSWELL's passionate stories inspire and empower.

'Groundswell Rising provides an invaluable, up-close view of the horrible impacts of hydro-fracking on drinking water and everyday life and of the opposition to fracking that has erupted in affected areas. The movie is especially effective in demonstrating the intrusive, life-shattering impact of fracking on family life and how the victims of fracking have banded together to fight this assault.' Michael Klare, Professor and Director, Program in Peace and World Security Studies, Hampshire College, Author, The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources

'Viewers of Groundswell Rising feel the anguish of communities experiencing health problems caused by contaminated water, air, and noise pollution from fracking. Luckily, the film does not end there. We see these communities band together to fight against powerful energy companies, as the film highlights the importance of activism on a local level. Ending with a rousing montage of protests against fracking and a list of milestones in the anti-fracking movement, you'll leave the film feeling angry but inspired to take action. The film would work well in courses focusing on the environment, social movements, politics, and public health.' Dr. Elizabeth Cherry, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Manhattanville College

'This film takes viewers to the place where emotional trauma and health impacts experienced by fracking-zone residents and hard facts presented by leading experts meet. It deconstructs the oil and gas industry's rhetoric and shows us what shale energy development really looks like...The film will generate lively discussion in environmental studies and current affairs courses at the college and high school levels.' Dr. Anna Willow, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, The Ohio State University

'Groundswell Rising captures what is happening in the communities where fracking has occurred and how it has spurred a call to action. This film puts into perspective the importance of seeking alternative sources of energy for a healthy environment for the future, and engenders us to think about the long term impacts that fracking has on our natural landscapes.' Sara Rinfret, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Montana, Co-author, US Environmental Policy: A Practical Approach to Understanding Implementation (forthcoming)

'Groundswell Rising lets us hear the stories of individuals throughout the United States who have experienced the unwanted effects of natural gas production. They are surprised by the industrial invasion around them, and they are even more surprised to become environmentalists.' John Copeland Nagle, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame, Author, Law's Environment: How the Law Shapes the Places We Live

'Besides the incredible information on fracking's detriment to our health it is also a great look into what it is like to live in a town with fracking in the backyard. This film should be watched by everyone on the side of industry and those considering leasing their land to the gas companies. Plain and simply, it's the human side of this debate.' Mark Ruffalo, Actor, Activist

'Will get your blood going and your mind racing about how we can pull together to defend our communities from gas drilling and its crushing infrastructure.' Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

'No kidding this is a groundswell, and just in time! Fracking means big money to a few, which is why its spreading around the world-but the opposition from the rest of us is spreading just as fast, and this powerful film shows exactly why!' Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org

'Provides such a good balance of the stories of impacts and the victories of average people who took on the industry and government and won that it leaves you feeling hopeful and rarin' to go. Can't wait to start showing it.' Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth

'This is a powerful film. Industry propaganda continually dismisses these people. They are invisible and this film helps us see them.' New York Assemblywoman, Barbara Lifton

'Your film blew me away. It was spot on, and I loved it while sobbing through half of it. Your -film is so professionally done, so hard hitting, so scientifically well researched. It is a primer for people to organize around, who find that their towns are being stolen and their children's health compromised. You guys did an amazing job of depicting this civil war within our country.' Liberty Godshall

'Groundswell Rising picks up the story of resistance to fracking in Pennsylvania and New York where Josh Fox's Gasland left off, a telling look at people's building rage.' James William Gibson, Professor of Sociology, California State University - Long Beach, Author, A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship With Nature

'Groundswell Rising shows everyday people who have become activists because they see the harm the natural gas industry is doing in their lives and communities...I myself was drawn in for a long time by the natural gas industry's self-promotion that natural gas is more 'natural'...This film does an excellent job of debunking those myths.' Cherice Bock, Whole Terrain Journal


Awards

Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Athens International Film Festival
Galway International Film Fleadh, Ireland
Kansas International Film Festival

Citation

Main credits

Cohen, Renard (film director)
Cohen, Renard (film producer)
Cohen, Renard (cinematographer)

Other credits

Editor, Ryan Kollmorgen; camera, Renard Cohen [and 7 others]; music, Bert Mueller [and 5 other].


Distributor credits

Renard Cohen

Renard Cohen
Renard Cohen
Executive Producers: Matt Cohen, Mark Lichty
Editor: Ryan Kollmorgen
Associate Producer: David Walczak
Contributing Producers: Leigha Cohen, Joe Kramer
Camera: Renard Cohen, Dave Walczak, Mark Lichty, Matt Cohen
A Resolution Pictures Production

Docuseek2 subjects

Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
American Studies
Democracy
Cultural Anthropology
Economic Anthropology
Environmental Anthropology
Geography
U.S. Government and Politics
Government Policy
Environmental Health
Public Health
Science and Technology
Energy Sector
Energy
Sociology
Toxic Chemicals
Medical Ethics

Distributor subjects

Activism
Air Pollution
American Democracy
American Studies
Anthropology
Business Practices
Citizenship and Civics
Environment
Geography
Geology
Global Issues
Government
Health
Political Science
Science, Technology, Society
Social Justice
Sociology
Toxic Chemicals
Water

Keywords

opposition to fracking, natural gas, big oil and gas, grassroots movement, dangers to clean air, dangers to clean water, civil rights, fracking, contaminated drinking water, respiratory alments, skin lesions, edema, fracking waste, drilling rigs, Tony Ingraffea, leaking wells, asthma, noselbleeds, explosions, truck traffic, Common Cause, evading environmental protections, Mark Ruffalo, Natalie Merchant, Sandra Steingraber, civil disobedience, bans, moratoriums, referendums, Mark Jacobson, Solutions Project, renewable energy, Shade Davis, Vera Scroggins, Craig Stevens, Deborah Goldberg, David Kagan, Bob Edgar, James Browning, Walter Tsou, Poune Saberi, Raina Rippel, Dimock, PA; "Groundswell Rising"; Bullfrog Films

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