The Promised Land


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The film had a limited release in the United States on December 28 , and followed with a nationwide expansion on January 4 , Steve Butler Matt Damon has caught the eyes of top management at his employer, Global Crosspower Solutions, an energy company that specializes in obtaining natural gas trapped underground through a process known as fracking. Butler has an excellent track record for quickly and cheaply persuading land owners to sign mineral rights leases that grant drilling rights over to his employer.

Butler and his partner Sue Thomason Frances McDormand arrive in an economically struggling Pennsylvania farming town whose citizens are proud of having family farms passed from one generation to the next. Coming from a town and a life very similar to that of the people he is now determined to win over on behalf of Global, Butler tells the story of how his own town died after the local Caterpillar assembly plant closed. The idea of a town surviving solely on family farms being passed down through generations as a viable economy is one that he can no longer accept.

He claims to be offering the town its last chance.


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Butler spends some pleasant after-hours time with Alice Rosemarie DeWitt , a teacher he meets in a bar. The community seems willing to accept Global's offer, until an elderly, local high school science teacher, Frank Yates Hal Holbrook , who happened to be a successful engineer in his working life, raises the question of the safety of fracking during a town meeting. It's decided that the people will vote in a few weeks whether or not to take the offer. After hearing about the vote, Dustin Noble John Krasinski , an unknown environmental advocate, starts a grassroots campaign against Global, motivated by a tale of his family losing its Nebraska dairy farm after the herd died as a result of Global's industry-standard fracking process.

Butler begins to meet a great deal of resistance in town. Noble seems to be winning over nearly everyone, including Alice. One night Butler receives a package from Global that includes an enlarged copy of a photograph of dead cattle on a field that Noble said came from his family's Nebraska farm. The enlargement shows that an object thought to be a silo is,in fact, a lighthouse, which are nonexistent in Nebraska, revealing that Noble fabricated his story and deceived the people. Actually, the picture was from Lafayette, Louisiana , where Global is in the midst of a lawsuit over environmental complications that were probably caused by their fracking practices.

Butler informs the town's mayor of the deception, who then informs the rest of the town.

He returns to the hotel to find Noble loading his truck, preparing to leave town. Noble accidentally reveals that he knows the picture with the lighthouse was taken in Lafayette. Butler realizes the only way Noble could have known this information is if he were also employed by Global, and that Noble's job had been to discredit the environmental movement and convince the town to vote in favor of Global's offer. He arranged for Butler to receive the "confidential" photos and engineered the entire public relations effort. At a town meeting the next day, the citizens are prepared to vote on Global's efforts to buy drilling rights to their property.

Butler talks to them about how the barn in the picture reminds him of his grandfather's barn. He reveals that Noble has manipulated them and is employed by Global.

Butler leaves the meeting to find Thomason on the phone with Global. She tells him he's fired and that she is leaving for New York. Butler walks to Alice's home and she welcomes him in. In interviews, Krasinski and Damon said [3] that the idea for the movie was partially inspired by an investigative series of stories in The New York Times by Ian Urbina , called "Drilling Down", [4] about fracking.

The screenplay was based on a story by Dave Eggers.

'The Promised Land' ('Rakuen') Review | Hollywood Reporter

Krasinski came up with the film's premise and developed the idea with Eggers. They pitched the idea to Damon, suggesting that both Damon and Krasinski would write and star in the film. The project was set up at Warner Bros. Filming was scheduled to begin in early In January , Damon stepped down as director due to scheduling conflicts but remained involved with the project. The title was announced to be Promised Land.

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Filming mostly took place in Avonmore, Pennsylvania , which was the main setting for the film's rural town of McKinley. Additional filming locations for the town were locations in Armstrong County including Apollo , Worthington , and Slate Lick. Several hundred extras were hired for the film, and filming lasted for 30 days. The film score was composed by Danny Elfman.

Promised Land was criticized by the energy industry for its portrayal of the resource extraction process hydraulic fracturing , colloquially known as "fracking". They said, " Promised Land will increase unfounded concerns about fracking. McAleer said despite Dimock families' claims that fracking activity contaminated their water, the state and EPA scientists did not find anything wrong.

The group said, "They filmed this movie in our backyard. They told us it would be fair to drilling. Krasinski, who co-wrote the screenplay and stars in Promised Land , said the film's original premise involved wind power.

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Krasinski said wind power was replaced by fracking as a more relevant backdrop based on news coverage in recent years. Leading up to the film's release, a spokesperson for Independent Petroleum Association of America said, "We have to address the concerns that are laid out in these types of films. In Pennsylvania, the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition bought a second onscreen ad to be shown at 75 percent of theaters in the state at the same time Promised Land was released. James Schamus, chief executive of the film's distributor Focus Features said, "We've been surprised at the emergence of what looks like a concerted campaign targeting the film even before anyone's seen it.

It represents Americans deeply conflicted about how to deal with these issues.

The Promised Land

Promised Land had a limited release on December 28 , , making it eligible for the 85th Academy Awards , but failed to win any. Box Office Mojo reported before the film's wide release the following week, "It's unlikely that it will be able to pull many people away from the various other appealing options in theaters right now.

According to CinemaScore , audiences gave the film a "B" grade.

The Times said the grade and "middling reviews" indicated the film was unlikely to be a success. Promised Land received mixed reviews from critics. The Los Angeles Times reported that most critics felt that the film did not reach its full potential. The website's critical consensus reads, "The earnest and well-intentioned Promised Land sports a likable cast, but it also suffers from oversimplified characterizations and a frustrating final act. New York Times film critic A. Chile — as most other Latin American countries — is highly dependent on commodity exports.

When the price of copper falls, the Chilean economy suffers. As a non-oil producing country, Chile is also dependent on international oil prices.

The Promised Land

A fiercely open economy, Chile is highly vulnerable to trade wars among large nations. Starting in the late s, when Chile was completing its first decade of democratic rule, many intellectuals began to criticize the market-friendly economic model put in place by the Pinochet dictatorship Pointing to the absence of a state that could guarantee social services and a safety net, those people criticized the overly individualistic basis of the market-friendly economic model.

Chileans were treated more like consumers than citizens. It is a force to be reckoned with, but it is more part of the past than the future. Chile was able to build a well-functioning democracy despite the authoritarian straitjacket legacy. Inequality remains high, but it is the lowest on record.

In late , Chileans voted for the second time in less than a decade for a right-wing candidate for president. Thus, the claim that Chileans are discontent with the economic model and want a radical change is just not consistent with the facts. Chileans are better off today than at any time before in their history. Though satisfaction with democracy has fallen in recent years — as elsewhere in Latin America — Chileans still value it more than any other form of government. When asked about what countries they want Chile to look up to, people often mention northern European countries.

Over the past 30 years, Chileans know the country has made much progress, there is growing wealth and living conditions have improved. But most Chileans are also very much aware that consumer rights are weak, they suffer from widespread abuse by oligopolies in several industries, access to quality education is expanding very slowly, and access to quality healthcare remains largely unequal.

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Chileans have seen the promised land, but they have not been let in. Just as a frustrated passenger consumed by rage is willing to tear apart the waiting room at an airport, many Chileans had a weekend of rage demanding that they be finally let through the gates. Yet, the polls show that Chileans want a combination of better public services and more competitive markets rather than a full abandonment of the market-friendly system.

By Sunday night, the government, criticized for its slow response and wavering decision to decree a state of emergency and, at the same time, refrain from letting the military take full command of the streets to stop looting, chose to respond with an untimely and unwise counterattack.

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