Published on August 9th, 2023 | by Tim Chuma

MIFF 2023: How to Blow Up a Pipeline Review (2022)

MIFF 2023: How to Blow Up a Pipeline Review (2022) Tim Chuma

Summary: This is a fantasy story, clearly anyone watching this would not actually try to do anything here it is a movie clickbait headline designed to drive discussion.


Power fantasy

A diverse group who have all had their lives damaged in some way the fossil fuel industry band together to perform a grand act of industrial sabotage. Even if they actually achieve what they are trying to do it is not going to be a good ending. The FBI already know of the plot and have a mole inside their group.

At its heart this is a power fantasy as even in Australia if you even walk past the house of a mining CEO the counter terrorism unit will arrest you. Google will 100% intercept your traffic and send it to the secret service agencies if it detects key words. In the movie this is gotten around by showing none of the people involved have their phones on them and they seem to have gotten their knowledge from books. Not sure about the one person attempting to make bombs on a social media platform they would block that immediately, need to frame it as a “science” channel on YouTube. Even just writing your Livejournal like a little emo will get you a visit from the AFP if you start to say “Allah be praised”.

No one in the group actually knows anyone’s full name and they introduce them in flashback at certain points of the story to explain why they decided to join in on this action.

Most likely the book goes more into the background of the book and they have compressed things here. They cannot actually show all the steps in making the bomb or all the ingredients as they would be hit with terrorism charges. The Terrorist’s Handbook used to be a popular download in the earlier days of the internet but it was well known to have deliberate errors in it put there by miscreants so people would maim or take themselves out if they actually used it. There were supposedly books around you could order through the mail but these are restricted especially if they are posted overseas.

The whole exercise feels a bit like a clickbait exercise in the form of a movie but it is at least competently made and engaging and not just like Hello Dankness which was just repeating things other people said.

Even Jason Statham in the Meg 2 is an environmental warrior now supposedly? I can remember Indio: Environmental Warrior back in the 1990s but I never saw it. As always the media is about 20 years behind the curve of these sorts of things. The second Godzilla Monsterverse movie had environmental activists as a baddie as well and I can remember the person concerned about the environment being a butt of the joke in Ghostbusters. This one is at least set in the real world with real consequences.

This is the start of a conversation, not the end. The entire non-violent protest movement with the Franklin River from the 1980s is at odds with this but the stakes are much higher now. I cannot recommend anything these people actually say or do but if you are interested in seeing active protest in a movie them I would recommend it.


Film details:

Key Cast: Ariela Barer, Forrest Goodluck, Kristine Froseth, Lukas Gage, Sasha Lane

Director: Daniel Goldhaber

Producers: Adam Wyatt Tate, Ariela Barer, Daniel Goldhaber, David Grove Churchill Viste, Isa Mazzei

Screenwriters: Ariela Barer, Daniel Goldhaber, Jordan Sjol

Cinematographer: Tehillah De Castro

Composer: Gavin Brivik

Editor: Daniel Garber

Costume Designer: Eunice Jera Lee

Production Designer: Adri Siriwatt

Premiere Status: Victorian Premiere

Distributor: Madman Entertainment

Origin: USA (2022)

International, North America, Feature

Language: English



About the Author

Writer, photographer, artist and music fan from Melbourne, Australia.

Back to Top ↑