On the Line (2011) Trailer
The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project is the linchpin of the Alberta Tar Sands endeavour--a plan to ship tonnes of extracted bitumen across two provinces for shipment to Asia. Director Frank Wolf and his compatriot Todd McGowan undertake a low-tech trip through the proposed route in this doc, making investigative pit stops along the way. What we see is disturbing, to say the least: the restructuring of the land will be radical, the economic benefits highly concentrated, the danger and likely outcome of spills truly fearsome.
Wolf gives voice to the citizens whose lives will be upended by the project--some are ambivalent, most opposed, all are fearful. Local fishing guides, First Nations' bands who depend on salmon for their livelihood and culture, farmers whose land will be compromised by construction and pollution--these people and their lives are a definitive rebuke to environmental heedlessness and corporate greed. Wolf's documentary is brilliantly structured: his trip through the relatively unspoiled land of two provinces is a literal, slowly cumulative demonstration of what exists now, and what could be ruined tomorrow. His casual, detouring trek is an act of exposure and a witness to the likes of which our corporate media serves to marginalize. Here are the land and its people; here will be the natural and human costs of The Tar Sands.