Posted on Friday, September 10th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
In some rural communities, arguments are brewing. Energy companies are renting and buying space to erect 40-story windmills to generate electricity. It seems like an easy financial windfall for some — get paid for doing nothing. But there are concerns: how do the machines affect wildlife, and the quality of human life? And is the equation fair to the townspeople?
The documentary Windfall, which premieres soon at the Toronto Film Festival, looks at the impact windmills had on a small town of Meredith, New York, where first-time director Laura Israel was a resident. There are two trailers available for the film, and the latest one is really striking in the way it puts together images of the town cowering under the windmills. It’s pure energy infrastructure horror.
The Wall Street Journal talked to Israel, who said, “I went through the same process myself as they did in the film…First, I thought, maybe I’d like to get a wind turbine, but then I started going on the Internet and realized there was more to the story.”
I’m taken with the idea of this documentary for a primary reason: my parents have flirted with the idea of installing wind turbines on their land. They live on a plot in central Texas, a small piece of land by local standards, but big enough that some of the concerns faced by the people in Meredith wouldn’t apply. The noise issue would disappear, and the visual intrusion of the machines would be reduced. But concerns still linger, and after discussing the possibilities multiple times with my family, the presentation here caught my eye.
This is the official synopsis, via Apple:
When an multi–national corporation offers to revitalize the rural farm town’s failing economy with a new industry, residents believe they have found the solution to their economic problems. But the townspeople grow increasingly alarmed as they discover that the company’s plans for their town are far from anything they could have ever predicted. Hauntingly filmed, WINDFALL delivers the message that sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel can be an oncoming train.
Here’s the new, very ominous teaser:
And here’s an older trailer, which doesn’t take the same horror movie angle.