Something to watch tonight: Monday 6 November
How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Goldhaber, 2022)
If you enjoy a good caper or heist movie and would like it with a side order of righteous environmental fury, then How to Blow Up a Pipeline is the film for you.
A ragtag Dirty Dozen-type group of activists come together to sever an oil pipeline in Taxes, a conduit that is vital to the free flow of fossil fuel profits. The group are self-taught when it comes to conspiracy and explosives which means that the tension at times becomes unbearable as their homemade bombs could go off at any time.
The film is not much interested in debating the morality or politics of the issue – very early on any concerns about collateral environmental or human damage are disposed of with the confidence of a plan that simply doesn’t allow that to happen.
In fact, How to Blow Up a Pipeline is as much about the absolute certainty that young people can have, before the world has challenged their assumptions and shaken their faith.
Oh, to be in my twenties again when I knew everything and old people knew nothing.
It’s a low budget indie production but, to its credit, looks like film’s used to look thanks to Tehillah De Castro’s grainy 16mm photography. The performances are strong from an unknown (to me) cast and director David Goldhaber’s focus on the process with all its attendant tension is leavened with occasional flashbacks to tell us more about the motives of each protagonist.
I found it well paced and gripping from beginning to end.
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