Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle": the battle over the Cape Wind Project off the MA coast

Another film in the spirit of AFI Silverdocs, but only technically ineligible, is “Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle”, about the political battle over building an wind farm off Cape Cod, MA (and above Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, about five miles from some private beaches).  The film, directed by Robin Gemmel and John Kirby and produced and distributed by the Electron Project and Naked Edge Films, started Friday at the West End Cinema in Washington DC (near Foggy Bottom and GWU).

I met one of the producers (female) at the theater yesterday (I missed the name – Libby Handros, according to credits, if I read right).

The documentary moves at a quick pace, building a case that wealthier people (many of them) feared that the “eyesore” of the windmills (“Don Quixote” from HBO’s “The Newsroom”), said to rise 400 feet above the water (slightly taller than the Statue of Liberty) would erode property values.

The movie then moves into the area of summarizing the damage done by our dependence on fossil fuels.  It depicts graphic shots of mountaintop removal in West Virginia, particularly the Kayford Mine about thirty miles south of Charleston.  In fact, the film provides footage of the problem comparable to that of whole feature films on mountaintop removal already on this blog (label “coal mine issues”).

While providing varied background (including Congressional hearings) the movie is its funniest when covering all the demonstrations. Rich people can put the “Occupy” movement to shame.

There's a shot of the Palm Springs (CA) wind farm, apparently from the I-10 rest stop that I remember from my recent visit to California. 

My own experience with the Cape is limited.  I visited Provincetown in 1976 (including the Boatslip), and stayed with friends in Duxbury.   In New England, I’ve been more a mountain person.  Why not build a wind plantation on the slopes of Mt. Washington, the windiest place in the nation?

The official site for the film is here.

West End Cinema link (through early July) is here

The Cape Wind website is here

The film has shown in Cleveland and Boulder film festivals (but apparently not Sundance nearby).

Wikipedia attribution link for Cape Wind Project map (p.d.), here.  Second picture, mine, from May 2012 trip (along I-10 in California, 10 miles W of Palm Springs); part of one of the largest wind farms in the nation. 

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