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Trouble in the Peace


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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: KINOSMITH
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 81 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2012
Available in French: No

In the far-flung frontier farming community of The Peace River Valley, trouble is brewing.
 
Big Oil and Gas is moving heavily into this northern Canadian region.  Where once homesteads and small family farms struggled to make ends meet, lethal gas leaks and flarings from boom-and-bust drilling installations are killing livestock, burning lungs and raising Cain. Deep fear festers within the community, and all are stunned that such injustice could happen in a country like Canada.
 
From this pandemonium emerges Karl Mattson, an enigmatic and reclusive cowboy, sculptor and father of a 4-year-old girl named Hollis. When a two-headed calf is born on the farm Karl realizes something is disturbingly wrong. Constant flarings and small gas leaks are having an effect on the health of his herd and his family. Should a big leak occur, Karl knows the consequences will be disastrous.
 
Yet the gas industry safety regulations appear to be a complete joke. Official emergency procedures say to tape up windows with duct tape and turn off the furnace in the event of a leak. Unfortunately the gas H2S can render a human unconscious in mere seconds, so good luck getting to the duct tape!
 
And the situation isn’t likely to improve. Owning and selling the subsurface mineral rights below the land is how the provincial government makes most of its annual profits. Thus the health and safety of remote communities living on those lands isn’t high on their priority list.
 
So Karl watches as his neighbours expend vast amounts of time and energy protesting and petitioning for change with little or no effect. In spite of wanting to do something to stop the industrial invasion, Karl just can’t bring himself to join in the ill-fated lobbying.
 
It’s only the mysterious ‘pipeline bomber’ who gets any real attention from the government and media outlets. While unwilling to fund better safety standards for its citizens, the government eagerly commits $4 million to catching the alleged “eco-terrorist”. The message is clear: protecting the industry and its profits trumps protecting individuals.
 
It’s enough to make a frightened and frustrated guy like Karl also want to do something drastic!
 
But it’s not until the dog dies, his wife leaves, and he and his daughter are gassed that Karl finally decides to act. After much contemplation he chooses his weapon to battle this Goliath that surrounds him. And so Karl embarks on a startling plan that he thinks just might save his daughter and bring his community back together.

NOTE: SOME LANGUAGE