DOXA 2017: Water Warriors

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Water Warriors | Directed by Michael Premo | DOXA Documentary Film Festival | Screens May 7 and 8, 2017

When an American oil and gas company SWN Resources comes to New Brunswick to test for potential fracking sites, First Nations and concerned citizens band together to stop them in their tracks. It is inspiring to see the extent of the effort that these citizens took to make sure that fracking would not be coming to their community. The Tribe Called Red tracks that open and close the film infuse it with the radical energy of the protests.

 

Beautiful scenes of the New Brunswick landscape are a good reminder if what these activists are fighting to preserve. The up close, intimate perspective of being right in the middle of the action, when tires are lit on fire and the police arrive in riot gear, makes this a powerful documentary.

 

There is a good balance of interviews and real time action to give us a snapshot of this fight that lasted a few years. And it has a happy ending — there is now a moratorium on fracking in New Brunswick. It seems that after these protests, the subsequent provincial election was a de facto referendum on fracking, and the candidate who promised a moratorium won. As we prepare for our own environmental fights in BC, this story gives us hope that the people can prevail in the face of corporate interests and that we can stop environmental destruction if we work tirelessly together. 

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