Appalachian Basin

Promised Land Looks To Be Pitiful Propaganda

Matt Damon is coming out with another anti-gas movie called Promised Land.  Vic Furman got a chance to see the trailer on the big screen and was not impressed by what turned out to be a piece of pitiful propaganda full of nonsense, disrespectful to rural people and financed by Middle East interests.

This past week I went to the movie theater on Upper Front Street in Binghamton.  I bought some popcorn and a Diet Coke in preparation to see a movie.

The previews played, including this one:

Coming in January!

Promised Land

Starring Hal Holbrook & Matt Damon

Take a good look at this trailer and you might see what I saw, which was a whole lot of propaganda, all of it pitifully amateurish and immature.

Here’s the movie trailer and what I observed about Promised Land from watching it:



Matt Damon plays the part of a gas company landman, one of the individuals who solicits land for leasing for the purposes of natural gas development.  He’s from a farm family and relates his new work to making up for the loss of jobs in the farming community.  If this sounds familiar it’s because it is.  He is describing most of of the Southern Tier of New York State as well as northeastern Pennsylvania before natural gas development turned its economy around.

The first mention of a gas lease takes place in a diner, then the scene shifts immediately to the home of a farmer where the conversation unmistakably leads the audience toward the stereotypical image favored by the anti-gas NIMBYs who been portraying landowners and farmers as nothing more then “Hillbilly Lottery Winners” who can’t wait to get their hands on the bonus money.

Matt Damon

What is left out, of course, is the fact it was the concerned farmers and other landowners of New York State who put a halt to the leasing and formed coalitions, hired attorneys, and began holding meetings in schools, garages and churches to discuss environmental concerns and land protections.  Some of us actually had checks issued for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but did not take them because our concerns and questions were not yet answered.

The scene then jumps to a tavern because, as everyone knows, we farmers and landowners all just a bunch of drunks looking for a free ride. Matt is sitting at the bar flirting with a teacher when a farmer (the one from the diner) comes onto the stage and declares he leased his land and now it’s all brown.   He essentially says “if it happened to me, it could happen to you.  Pictures of dead cows are shown in an over the top attempt to generate hysteria based on some anecdotal urban (or, should we say, rural) myths that this is something that routinely happens.

The next scene is in a school gym where, apparently, the town is going to put natural gas development to a vote after “environmental forces” are portrayed as hero’s. One has to wonder if Josh Fox and Mark Ruffalo didn’t write this script. A bar fight ensues, of course, because, once again, we landowners and farmers are just drunks who hang out in bars and don’t know which end is up or anything other how to cash a check.  The basic message is that us rural folk are a bunch of poor dumb souls who need our ultra smart city cousins to look out for us because we couldn’t possibly understand or care about the open spaces we’ve spent decades protecting for them to enjoy.

Do you remember when Sue Rapp and the members of VeRSE in Vestal, New York, inspired a art contest in which natural gas development was portrayed by the students as evil and toxic?  Not one piece of art was positive, demonstrating the anti-gas parents of these school kids were determined to brainwash their own children through fear and intimidation.  Well, that also happens in this movie, when a small model of a farm is touched with a match, setting the land and the buildings and even the farmer on fire.  It creates a very dramatic scene in a school class room where the children react with amazement and fear, all based on a false premise.

It only requires the couple of minutes of film offered by the trailer for Promised Land to realize there is nothing factual or scientific about it, leading one to the inescapable conclusion it’s nothing more than a cheap imitation of Josh Fox’s Gasland propaganda, as hard as this is to imagine.  It will, perhaps, have value as entertainment, but nothing more.  Damon and friends have had to keep revising the message as the truth about natural gas has come out (that is both clean and safe).  Worse, the residents of the area where he filmed are furious about his inaccurate portrayals of them and have started their own social media campaign to combat it.  No wonder Hollywood has issues.

But, wait there is more….Promised Land, a film by Keven Dalvi….where did the production dollars come from?  Well, we know the answer and it’s not pretty.  Rather, it demonstrates the entire film is poison propaganda financed by competitors. … ab-nation/

While left-leaning Hollywood often target supposed environmental evildoers, Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which runs PR for Participant Media, the company that developed the film fund backing Promised Land, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE, “United Arab Emirates”.

One only has to wonder why the United Arab Emirates would finance a movie that has the potential to create delay of natural gas development here in the United States and New York while they continue to control the world’s energy needs by developing those same resources in the Middle Wast.  Promised Land is pitiful – pitiful propaganda.


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