The Better Path Coalition is honored to host the Pennsylvania tour of UNFRACTURED and two special lectures in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh by Sandra Steingraber entitled "Contaminated Without Consent: the Scientific Case Against Fracking and How it Prevailed in New York".
The tour is made possible with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and Mountain Watershed Association's Direct Support Fund.
Lehigh Valley -
Berks Gas Truth - Better Path Coalition member organization
The Climate Reality Project, Lehigh Valley Chapter
Northampton Community College Climate Action Network
Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia- Better Path Coalition member organization
RDA - Better Path Coalition member organization
Citizens' Climate Lobby-Harrisburg - Better Path Coalition member organization
Marcellus Outreach Butler - Better Path Coalition member organization
Lancaster Against Pipelines - Better Path Coalition member organization
A triumphant documentary about fighting with your whole heart, UNFRACTURED follows introspective biologist and mother Sandra Steingraber as she reinvents herself as an outspoken activist and throws herself into an environmental war that many believe is unwinnable. Hailed as a “toxic avenger” by Rolling Stone, Sandra quickly emerges as one of the leaders of New York’s biggest grassroots movement. Determined to win an uncompromising battle with the oil and gas industry, Sandra decides she must fight with her whole heart—devoting all her time, energy, and money to the cause.
But as the film opens, Sandra’s personal life is thrown into crisis when her husband suffers one stroke after another. Although she knows her family needs her at home, Sandra won’t stop—not until she and her allies win a statewide ban on fracking.
And they did win! On December 17, 2014, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a perma- nent, statewide ban on fracking.
The scientific evidence compiled by Sandra and her colleagues overwhelmingly shows that fracking (a natural gas extraction process the drills horizontally through the Earth and shatters the bedrock) contaminates water, destabilizes the climate, and imperils public health. Working as a researcher in communities around the world for the past 35 years, she has deployed the tools of science in the service of public health. But when fracking threatened to transform her own rural community in upstate New York into a factory floor for the gas industry, she knew she needed to do more than research the problem. She needed to stop it. As she saw it, the lives of her own children depended on winning a ban. And winning depended on good science and powerful social activism working hand in hand.
Shot over the last year of the historic fight against fracking in New York, UNFRACTURED offers an intimate perspective on an epic battle. We watch as Sandra debates the gas industry, delivers fiery rally speeches, and marches alongside other protestors. When Sandra visits anti-fracking activists in Romania, who have inspired her from afar, she is trailed by unmarked cars and pepper-sprayed by police. Back at home and motivated by her experiences abroad, Sandra joins with her neighbours to lead a civil disobedience campaign, is arrested for blockading a gas storage site, and is hauled away to jail.
As we go deeper into Sandra’s world, we see the chaos her activism has created in her personal life. Sandra worries that she is neglecting her children and abandoning her husband. But does not desist. Instead, Sandra redoubles her efforts, uses her personal struggles as a rallying cry, and contemplates how to be a good mother from inside a jail cell.
Unlike other films on the issue, UNFRACTURED is not a polemic on the harms of fracking. Instead, this hopeful cinéma-vérité documentary is an intimate look at one activist’s convictions and sacrific- es. It is also a rarity amongst environmental films: it ends triumphantly. Ultimately, UNFRACTURED takes us through a battle of astonishing international significance and into the life and mind of a com- plicated and compelling woman, asking us to consider the deep risks and rewards of activism.
FREE PUBLIC EVENTS
Sunday, October 21, 7 p.m.
Northampton Community College
Monday, October 22, 7 p.m.
Hamilton Connelly Auditorium, Hamilton Building, Thomas Jefferson University
Tuesday, October 23, 7 p.m,
Location Fine Arts Building Lycoming College
Harrisburg Lecture & Screening
Wednesday, October 24, 7 p.m.
Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
Pittsburgh Lecture & Screening
Thursday, October 25, 6 p.m.
EDDY Theatre, Chatham University
Friday, October 26, 7 p.m.
Stahr Auditorium, Franklin & Marshall College
The tour is made possible by the support of:
Biologist, mother, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on the environmental links to public health. Holding a doctorate
in biology and a master’s degree in creative wriing, she has written three books about human health and the environment, including Living Downstream, which was released as a documentary film in 2010.
Sandra has won numerous awards for her environmental health research and writing, including the Heinz Award, Chatham College’s Rachel Carson Leadership Award, the Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund, and the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility. Sandra is the co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking and Concerned Health Professionals of New York and currently serves as science advisor to Americans Against Fracking. She has worked closely with the California Breast Cancer Research Program, provided Congressional briefings, lectured widely in medical schools and college campus-
es, and testified before the United Nations and the European Parliament. A contributing editor for Orion magazine, Sandra is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.
Chanda Chevannes is a Canadian filmmaker, writ- er, and educator. Her documentaries aim to address
complex social issues in an artistic way. Chanda’s first feature-length film, Living Downstream, won several awards (including a Gracie for Outstanding Docu- mentary from the Alliance for Women in Media Foun- dation), screened publicly over 200 times, and was broadcast on six continents. Previously, while living in sub-Saharan Africa, Chanda created educational films on gender-based violence.Thousands of grass- roots organizations are using these films, which have
contributed to tangible social change. Chanda’s writing includes a column for Troy Media, screening guides for her films, and two blogs for the NFB’s CitizenSHIFT website. She is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Media Arts Program and an instructor at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre.