THE BENTLEY EFFECT
2016 | 85 min | AUSTRALIA  
Directed by Brendan Shoebridge
Followed by filmmaker Q&A + special guest panel
 

The extraordinary tale of a community that defied the gas juggernaut.

When the coal seam gas industry staked a claim on the Northern Rivers shire of Australia, alarm bells rang out. A critical mass of people from all walks of life ­– activists, farmers, landowners, mums, dads and scientists – rallied against the unconventional gas invasion.

Despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and the State Government were determined to see their gas plan through.

A series of dramatic blockades ensued before the final battle lines were drawn in the peaceful farming valley of Bentley. Thousands of people flocked to the site to stare down the threat of 850 riot police, ordered in to break up the protest.

Filmed over five years, The Bentley Effect documents the highs and lows of the battle to keep a unique part of Australia free of gas fields.

This timely story of a community’s heroic stance shows how strategic direct action and peaceful protest can overcome industrial might and political short-sightedness. It celebrates the non-violent ‘‘Eureka Stockade’ of our time and chronicles one of the fastest growing social movements we have ever witnessed.

“Community grassroots activism at its best. 5 stars” Richard Todd, Director of Frackman