Award winning director investigates fracking in new documentary screened at DCU Film Festival

Award-winning South African documentary director Jolynn Minnaar spoke about the effects of fracking after the screening of “Unearthed” during an event of the 8x8 Film Festival at DCU.


Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a well-stimulation technique whose aim is to extract gas from the ground.


Minnaar was born and raised in Karoo in South Africa, where fracking could represent a very significant source of job creation and economic development.


However, fracking can lead to serious contamination of the water supplies, as shown in “Unearthed”, which contains more than three years of Minnaar’s independent research.


Her investigation started after receiving a call from a landowner in Pennsylvania (US), who told her about the severe problem of water pollution in his property which he considered to be a direct consequence of fracking.


In the documentary, she shows several examples of water contamination clearly caused by fracking in the US, even though the oil companies and US government keep holding that there had never been a single reported case of water contamination attributable to the gas extraction activity.


All of Minnaar’s research and findings are available open source and by doing so she is inviting people to provide information to add to the material already existing.


During the Q&A session that followed the screening of “Unearthed” at DCU, the South Africa director stressed both the importance of calling for transparency in relation to political decision-making process and of investing money in renewable energies rather than, “spending money on fracking, especially considering how much information we have access to nowadays, which should make us realise that we can invest in any kind of future we want.”


“Get the word out there. But be responsible about it”, she concluded.

Photo: Gianluca Avagnina