What happens when an off-shore gasoline Corporation with enough money to influence Government decides to start drilling on the mainland, specifically, the small united village of County Mayo, Ireland? Risteard O’Domhnail‘s debut documentary shows exactly what transpires, with the ending result being one that will have you leaving the theatre and proceeding directly to the spa in order to calm the anger pulsating throughout your nerves.
The Pipe is another one of those documentaries to join that long list of one-sided non-fiction take-to-action type films. At least this one has the good manners of informing us in the opening minute, rather than in the closing credits, that members of Shell Corporation refused to willingly take part in this film. Sure, it would have been nice to see both sides of the coin, but this is one instance where not hearing the other side of the story not only didn’t bother me, but would have taken away from witnessing the village’s struggle as well. There’s a sense that The Pipe was made with a sentiment of, if the village can’t receive any straight information from their adversaries than why should the viewer. Believe you me, this film’s strength lies in its ability to evoke anger from its viewer even though the viewer is fully aware they will never hear from the opposition. Not an easy thing to do.
As in almost all documentaries, especially ones in where the subjects being filmed are activists, the question of hamming it up for the camera will no doubt arise. I like to think of myself as someone who is not easily tricked into believing that everything is an absolute truth simply because it’s in a documentary format. Clearly, there are other voices needed to be heard in order to arrive at a fully informed verdict. But, putting all of that aside, I was still able to immerse myself completely in Risteard O’Domhnaill’s documentary.
Showtimes for The Pipe:
SAT Apr 23 – 6:00pm (New People)
SAT Apr 30 – 12:15pm (Kabuki)
MON May 2 – 6:30pm (PFA – Berkeley)