PROMISED LAND Add To My Top 10
Environmentalist Agenda Hidden Behind Traditional Values
Release Date: December 28, 2012
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 106 minutes
Distributor: Focus Features/Universal Pictures/Comcast
Director: Gus Van Sant
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
James Schamus, CEO, Focus Features (A Division of NBC Universal and Comcast)
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000; Fax: (212) 539-4099
The story begins with Steve Butler (Matt Damon), a corporate sales person who visits rural towns to buy drilling rights from locals. Steve isn’t the big city corporate type. In fact, he grew up in a small town in Iowa. When he was a boy, the local Caterpillar plant in Iowa closed, and the town’s economy then collapsed. Without being given a lot of information, it’s clear that this affected Steve’s life drastically. He still lives with the pain of seeing his hometown die. Now as a salesperson, Steve can give similar small towns economic relief by buying their land for his corporate employer GlobalTech.
Steve and his sales partner, Sue, go to a small town in Pennsylvania which is struggling economically. They expect it will be pretty easy to buy up most of the land so that GlobalTech can collect over $200 million worth of natural gas. They organize a town hall meeting where they will discuss GlobalTechs plans for the town.
However, a local high school teacher starts spreading news that natural gas drilling known as fracking will destroy their farming lifestyle. The people decide to put it to a vote in a few weeks whether they’ll allow GlobalTech to drill. Things get worse for Steve when an environmentalist (John Krasinski) comes into town to campaign against GlobalTech. Now Steve’s faced with a difficult battle to convince the town to sell their land for drilling. All the while, the charm of the small town and people in it starts to grow on him. He also starts wondering whether hydraulic fracturing is even good for the town.
PROMISED LAND is well directed, and the acting comes off as genuine. That being said, this movie is clearly trying to push an environmental agenda against hydraulic fracturing. The movie’s argument is that owning your own land and being independent is greatly American, which is true. PROMISED LAND shows the beauty of some of the farming communities that were built on traditional values. The sad thing about this movie is that it then uses theses American values to push an environmentalist agenda that doesn’t even help farming communities. The anti-fracking movement isn’t about protecting farmers; it’s about political power.
PROMISED LAND doesn’t want an educated discussion about this issue, because factually hydraulic fracturing has benefited many communities not just in America, but all over the world. PROMISED LAND is expertly made, which makes it even more manipulative and dangerous. Hollywood, through fear and emotion evoked in movies, is trying to influence the way people vote. The only question is, if large corporations are so evil, why should the audience trust the multi-billion dollar companies that funded this movie? Do they have a vested interest in keeping America reliant on foreign oil? These are legitimate questions that need to be answered.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises media-wise viewers to beware PROMISED LAND due to its manipulative agenda, as well as its pervasive and often extremely offensive foul language.
PROMISED LAND is well made. The story provokes emotion and makes people think twice about hydraulic fracturing. It also portrays traditional American farming communities in a positive light. However, the movie ultimately pushes an environmentalist political agenda using emotion rather than facts. It also comes with abundant foul language, much of it strong. Thus, the content in PROMISED LAND is often excessive, immoral and politically and scientifically invalid.