Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frontline: Alaska Gold (DVD)


Frontline: Alaska Gold is one of the few documentaries that we have viewed that looks to provide a balanced narrative regarding fishing rights and the intense desire of companies and individuals to eat the sockeye salmon that is fished from the waters of Bristol Bay. The story that is told during Frontline: Alaska Gold is further varied when one understands that there are mineral rights issues at play.

What Frontline: Alaska Gold shows is that there can be competing concerns struggling to make their vision for an area reality and that those in power at a stage, national, and even local level have tremendous power to shape these plans. The documentary could stand to delve a little deeper into the mind of the proposed mine owners, but the sixty-minute runtime of this feature ensures that some cuts have to be made. Frontline: Alaska Gold is a perfect introduction into this rights issue and will stand as a snapshot to show viewers the specific constellation of actors at this point of time.

The decisions that were made during the Bush presidency, and in particular the laissez faire approach taken to natural resources, are still impacting seriously the natural beauty and renewable resources that can be extracted from places like Alaska. Frontline: Alaska Gold properly contextualizes the interplay of actors in a way that viewers from junior high on can understand and appreciate, without seeming as if this documentary is dumbed down or is systemically excluding any side of the debate. Make sure to go to the Shop PBS website for more information about the documentary and the PBS titles released and set to release this year.

Rating: 8.3/10

Frontline: Alaska Gold (DVD) / 2012 PBS / 60 Minutes /

Frontline: Alaska Gold (DVD)

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