Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Stand" documents the oil spill risk to the Canadian Pacific coast if a pipeline is completed

Stand” (2013), with the longer title “What Do We Stand to Lose?” is a 45-minute documentary, directed by Nicholas Telehrob and Anthony Bonello, about the risks to the way of life of people, especially native, along the western British Columbia coast if a pipeline is completed (by Calgary-based Enbridge, which declined interview for the film) to Kitimat, deep on an inlet.  The risk is that oil tankers will traverse the region, and another Exxon-Valdez spill could occur.
The film documents a canoe or kayak journey by Norm Hamm through the at-risk area, which centers around the islands of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), as well as the Hecate Strait. It also moves north toward southern Alaska (toward Juneau), and south toward Vancouver Island.
The film is quite breathtaking in its scenery, although the overlays are unnecessary.  There are wonderful scenes with bears, wolves that look like German shepherds, otters, and even a scene eating a sea urchin delicacy.
There is a moral point, concerning risk and potentiality.  We all depend on fossil fuels for our own lifestyles, which express our identities (mine at least).  But were an accident to happen, the lives of the people would be destroyed, insofar as their own personal identities are at stake, even if they were financially compensated and relocated.  There would be issues already known from Exxon and particularly BP in the Gulf.
One young woman, Blake Carpenter, spoke about a 48-hour hunger strike.  Others spoke about demonstrations and getting arrested.  I don’t do that, but that raises other questions:  should I think I am above ever doing that?  I thought for a moment about the 30-hour fasts that the young people of some local churches have (during which they sometimes shoot short films!)
I have reviewed a number of films about oil (including the tar sands and pipeline issues, especially fracking) and coal (including mountaintop removal) and fossil fuels in general.  I've presented both or all sides to the issues that I find.  
The film is distributed by Joker Films , a Canadian company that describes itself as “a simple way to license movies” but doesn’t explain how this works. I watched the film on Netflix Instant Play. 
Wikipedia attribution link for map of Queen Charlotte area,  by Koba-Chan, Creative Commons 3.0 Share-Alike License.  Second picture is a model railroading scene showing coal operations. Note that the title.

"Stand" has been used for many films. There is a new Russian film with this title, dealing with anti-gay repression in Russia, and I am trying to find out when it will be available.

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