Skip to content

Kamil Lipiński

Kamil Lipiński

Title: Eco-film criticism on the basis of water poisoning in Gasland

Abstract: In the following abstract I shall take a closer look at the eco-film criticism on the basis of the film directed by Josh Fox entitled Gasland (2009), which aims to investigate the global trend of extracting oil and gas from unconventional sources, such as tar sands and gas shales. Such exploitation threatens global efforts to avoid dangerous levels of climate change and risks local ecological disasters. In this essay, I shall reconstruct the problem of water poisoning by the gas which affects heavily the local communities in the US, especially in Pennsylvania fighting for their rights to clean their water from ground impurities. This critical study inspired by the self-documentary by Jonathan Caouette entitled Tarnation (2003) reveals contamination of ground fluids caused by gas drilling seen from the point of view of the local community who are suffering headaches and bad well-being. They have been asked in line with municipal authorities in front of the camera to give an interview about this harmful disorder of ecological disorder.  In so doing, the director uncovers the intoxication of the ground by chemicals which leads eventually to irreversible brain damage for the people drinking poisoned water or to a partial loss of taste. Due to hydrofracking which is not bio-degradable, this film presents an environmental impact study to rediscover harmful effects such as flammable water and fumes of toxic water vapor which become a part of people’s everyday life. This essay retraces environmental consequences at a time branded as „Anthropocene” of human impact on the planet to unveil the postindustrial production canalizing gas wastes in water supplies and, at a larger scale, negative consequences of secret damage of geological water resources contaminating communities located at corporate drilling sites.

Bio: Kamil Lipiński – doctor of humanities in the field of philosophy. Alma Mater – Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Assistant Professor at the University of Bialystok. Author of the monograph entitled Mapowanie obrazu. Między estetyczną teorią a praktyką (eng. Image mapping. Between aesthetic theory and practice). He published, among others in SubStance. A review of theory and literary criticism, Kultura Współczesna, Przegląd Kulturoznawczy, Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, French Cultural Studies, Cinéma & Cie. Runner-up in Postcolonial Studies Association/Journal of Postcolonial Writing PG Essay Prize 2019. Co-Chair of NECS Film-Philosophy Workgroup. Currently, Lipiński is working on the collective volume (edited with Andrzej Marzec) entitled Derrida and Film Studies for Brill Publishing House and Sensitive Aesthetics of Jean-Luc Nancy and the moving images (Edinburgh University Press).