Great Lakes, Bad Lines

2016 ,    »  -   6 Comments
Ratings: 6.79/10 from 42 users.
Great Lakes, Bad Lines

Many environmental documentaries recount the aftermath of a grave disaster. Great Lakes, Bad Lines is refreshingly different in this regard. The film concerns the inevitable erosion and malfunction of Enbridge Line 5, a Canadian-owned pipeline that stretches across over 500 miles and transports 23 million gallons of oil through much of Michigan's Great Lakes on a daily basis. The line was built over 60 years ago, and is in urgent need of repair. Experts agree that something needs to be done, or the region will inevitably suffer one of the worst environmental catastrophes in recorded history. The film is a convincing and proactive effort to raise awareness and provoke change.

You don't have to be a resident of Michigan to recognize the importance of the Great Lakes. Beyond the aesthetic appeal of its beautiful and pristine waters, the lakes constitute a significant percentage of the world's fresh water, and many tens of millions of United States citizens live along its shores and depend upon its natural resources. An oil spill would spell doom for the sensitive ecological balance of the lakes, and their strong and unpredictable currents would make such a spill nearly impossible to contain.

The film follows two environmental activists as they travel along the route of the pipeline, and speak with a series of experts and ordinary residents along the way, many of whom will directly suffer when the impending disaster occurs. There is precedent for such a disaster in the region, as Enbridge's Line 6B ruptured in Michigan's Kalamazoo Lake in 2010 and caused the worst inland oil spill in history.

For its part, Enbridge, Inc. has taken only meager steps to reinforce the existing lines with vastly inefficient support structures. The sluggish response to a potential disaster falls squarely on the shoulders of state officials, who have thus far prioritized corporate interests over the safety of their own citizens. Clearly, further action will not be taken unless these officials are motivated by the vocal insistence of the people. With great urgency and visual flair, Great Lakes, Bad Lines represents an inspiring attempt to organize that movement.

Directed by: Colin McCarthy

6 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Boho Mamó

    Excited to see this! One correction, Line 6B actually leaked into the Kalamazoo River, not lake.

  2. Asshat9000

    Wildlife loves oil. #freetheoil

  3. Roger Andout

    So, an environmental disaster is waiting to happen and these two go on, what I can only describe as a "jolly", to highlight it.
    All I saw was the same two goons having a good time And get a grant to boot!
    Thankfully it was only 30 minutes but I'll never get them back.
    I await the adverse comments!!!

  4. William Allen

    They are not just Michigan's great lakes.

  5. Rodger's Adverse Responder

    Roger Andout - I will gladly respond to your trollish and unnecessary remarks!

    Let me break this down for you. As the name of this website suggests, the film you watched was indeed a documentary (noun: a movie or a television or radio program that provides a factual record or report, often to highlight an issue of importance or concern). So you are only right in your assessment that the film does "highlight" a potential environmental disaster. However, you appear to assume that the filmmakers are exploiting the potential environmental disaster discussed rather than create awareness for it; which is what has actually happened: Furthermore, via your snide "jolly" remark, you are incorrectly assuming that "these two" simply did this for their own enjoyment. As a matter of fact, the filmmakers clearly state in the beginning of the film that they would be making their trek along the pipeline using various methods of fossil-fuel-free transportation, all the while speaking with local residents about what sort of negative effects this disaster would have on their ways of life. It should also be noted (since you clearly spend your time indoors writing negative comments about things meant to have a positive impact) that all of those methods of transportation mentioned are inherently enjoyable by most people's standards. So yes, the "goons" you mentioned definitely did have a good time during the making of this film. Perhaps you should ask them to add a disclaimer since their enjoyment and forward approach to shedding light on a serious issue was not up to your standards.

    As for the grant (noun: non-repayable funds or products disbursed by one party, often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual for the purpose of funding a specified project or purpose), yes you are correct that they received one. An astute observation.

    Finally, I do sincerely apologize that my response to this has inevitably taken up even more of your apparent precious time. However, you did technically waste more of your own time by posting about the time this documentary had already wasted for you. So really, my time-wasting was on your own invitation.

    In conclusion, I disagree with your assessment of the film. Bravo to these goons! Seem like a couple of real good guys.

  6. George

    I thought this was suppose ti be about the environment and an aging pipeline. So far it's been more about a couple of kids takings road trip. If it hadn't been for the opening, I would never known there was a problem with the pipeline. And I agree with Roger Andout comment.

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