Matt Damon’s latest film “Promised Land” arrived in theaters nationwide yesterday with a focus on the controversial issue of fracking. Written by Matt Damon (who won an Oscar for co-writing “Good Will Hunting”) and John Krasinski (“The Office),” the story focuses on a small community that is asked to debate the merits of the process when a large corporation arrives in town wanting to buy much of the local land.
In an article from the Wall Street Journal, reporter Daniel Gilbert described — much more succinctly than the film does — what the process of fracking entails. He noted that “Fracking involves blasting millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals into a well to break up shale and allow oil and gas to flow out.”
The community that “Promised Land” is set in is suffering financially and tempted by the thought of having millions of dollars poured into the region. Damon plays Steve Butler, a salesman who tries to convince the locals to sell the land to his company, Global. When a local politician hosts a discussion of the subject in the high school gym, though, Butler spots trouble right away when a teacher (played by Hal Holbrook) interrupts the forum to question the environmental impact that fracking would have in the area. Soon enough, a charismatic environmentalist named Dustin Noble (Karsinski) arrives in town and tries to get the locals to reject Global.