US, 2017, 93 min, English OV
Directed by: Chanda Chevannes
with protagonist Sandra Steingraber (via Videostream)
A hopeful documentary about fighting with your whole heart.
For the past thirty-five years, biologist Sandra Steingraber has been working in communities around the world deploying the tools of science in the service of public health. Now, as fracking (a shale gas extraction process that contaminates our water with toxic chemicals) threatens to come into her rural community in upstate New York, Sandra knows she must do more than research the problem. She must stop it. She believes her children’s lives depend on it.
Unfractured offers an intimate perspective on an epic battle. We watch as Sandra debates the gas industry, delivers fiery rally speeches, marches alongside other protestors and becomes a leader of New York’s biggest grassroots movement in decades. But when she realizes that scientific evidence alone is not enough to win a ban, she visits anti-fracking activists in Romania, who have inspired her from afar. In Romania, she is trailed by unmarked cars and pepper sprayed by police. Back at home and motivated by her experiences abroad, Sandra joins with her neighbours to lead a civil disobedience campaign, is arrested for blockading a gas storage site, and is hauled away to jail.
Unfractured is an intimate look at one activist’s convictions, hopes, and sacrifices. It takes us through a battle of astonishing global significance and into the life and mind of a complicated and compelling woman, asking us to consider the risk and reward of activism.