How to Blow Up a Pipeline
How to Blow Up a Pipeline is one of the most smartly constructed thrillers in years. It’s an incredibly propulsive saga of a band of young American outsiders who come together to halt the development of an oil pipeline by detonating it with homemade bombs. Throughout the telling of this gripping scenario, it finds time to delve into the pasts of each of its characters and link their unique personal journeys to their central roles in this ultimate act of rebellion.
The eight-strong group of disparate individuals – Xochitl (Ariela Barer), Rowan (Kristine Forseth), Michael (Forrest Goodluck), Logan (Lukas Gage), Theo (Sasha Lane), Alisha (Jayme Lawson), Shawn (Marcus Scribner) and Dwayne (Jake Weary) – make for an easily sympathetic band of anti-heroes, with a strong drive towards personal and environmental justice. The team also represents a major coup by the casting department, which has assembled a compelling band of diverse stars, whose performances brim with authenticity in capturing how environmental destruction spreads far and wide, not limited in its demographic or regional prejudice.
The urgency of director Daniel Goldbaher’s character-driven storytelling is reinforced by his exciting and elegant formal style, as he commands set pieces with the precision of legendary filmmakers like William Friedkin and Jean-Pierre Melville, cutting between the past and present with an engaging rhythm. It’s almost dazzling to think about how the team managed to be so remarkably organised in the editing suite. Goldbaher reteams with his Cam composer Daniel Brivik, who employs his artistry with thematic resonance, utilising the sound of oil drums to underpin his electric score.
This terrific feature may rub some people up the wrong way, for it’s a forceful agitprop piece that makes no bones about what is on its mind, from what it wants to say to how it wants to say it. But there’s no doubt the movie will leave a strong impression on anyone who encounters it, with its indelible cinematic style and bold approach to the fight against climate change. In a time of film and TV where such social, political and environmental issues are often depicted through the lens of satire, it was time for something as serious as this.
How to Blow Up a Pipeline is released in select cinemas on 21st April 2023.
Watch the trailer for How to Blow Up a Pipeline here: