How to Blow Up a Pipeline Review – Spellbinding, Hypnotically Encapsulating, Riveting

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How to Blow Up a Pipeline, from Neon, brings to the screen a shocking portrayal of the disenfranchised and misguided eco-terrorists who believe they are actually creating change and their actions will influence global consumption of oil.

The film begins with a lonely girl, Xochitl, played by Ariela Barer, walking down the street and out of nowhere she knifes two tires of a parked truck. She leaves a pre-printed notice on neon yellow paper with the title “Why I sabotaged your property” under the windshield wiper with a page of rationalization.

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From this point we meet the group of eco-terrorists, each disenfranchised in some way, a family, led by Dwayne, played by Jake Weary, uprooted from their land in Texas, after imminent domain stole the ranch that had been in his family for a century; Michael, played by Forrest Goodluck, a Native American, demolition expert, unable to find work on the pipeline running through his North Dakota reservation; a lesbian couple from Long Beach, California, Theo, played by Sasha Lane, who was poisoned by the chemical plants in her backyard and is dying, and Alisha, played by Jayme Lawson, and two lovers Logan, played by Lukas Gage, and Rowan, who is slumming for a cause, played by Kristine Froseth, both cocaine grunge addicts, and a videographer, Shawn, played by Marcus Schribner.

As the film plays out, the leader Xochitl, who had been an environmental activists at her local community college, was derailed by the death of her mother, and she decides to quit college and become a more passionate activists, and at this point the audience is thinking like ActUp or other extremists groups who through civil disobedience and the use of the media are able to highlight their cause or organization.

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Soon we realize her determination is more passionate, and misdirected, than most and life in prison isn’t a deterrent. She recruits a crew of other disgruntled environmentalists and comes up with a plan. Once Shawn hears Dwayne’s story, the idea begins to gel and with Michael on board to build the detonators, everyone is prepared to do their part to sabotage big oil.

Throughout we are introduced to the backstory of each of the individuals and even with the compelling circumstances, their actions are criminal. They are terrorists, or are they?

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How to Blow up a Pipeline, introduces many different rationalizations for taking the law into one’s own hands. Justice is illusive, the common man is the scapegoat of society, the law is a barter system for the wealthy and worse, for those who have a cause to believe in, as we understand baby steps toward a better environmental future just don’t cut it, a big statement is, at times, what is needed to disrupt the status quo.

Surprisingly authentic, and hypnotically encapsulating, How to Blow Up a Pipeline, a taut and timely thriller that is part high-stakes heist, part radical exploration of the climate crisis, is riveting, a taken from the headline’s suspense ride.

How to Blow Up a Pipeline opens in theaters April 7, 2023. For all the wrong reasons, this is a must see!

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Country: U.S.

Language: English.

Runtime: 100minutes.

Writer: Ariela Barer, Jordan Sjol, Daniel Goldhaber.

Producer: Isa Mazzei, Daniel Goldhaber, Ariela Barer, Adam Wyatt Tate, David Grove, Churchill Viste, Alex Black, Alex Hughes.

Director: Daniel Goldhaber, based on The Manifesto by Andreas Malm.

Cast: Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane, Jayme Lawson, Marcus Scribner, Jake Weary, Irene Bedard, Olive Jane Lorraine.

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