A compelling documentary film four years in the making, The Pipe tells the story of the small Rossport community which has taken on the might of Shell Oil and the Irish State.
The discovery of gas off this remote coastal village has led to the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland. The rights of farmers over their fields, and of fishermen to their fishing grounds, has come in direct conflict with one of the world’s most powerful oil companies. When the citizens look to their State to protect their rights, they find that the government has put Shell’s right to lay a pipeline over their own.
Already 5 locals have spent 94 days in jail rather than let the proposed Shell pipeline cross their lands. This once tranquil area is engulfed in turmoil, as huge numbers of police drafted in. Normal policing has broken down following baton charges, surveillance, arrests, and a hunger strike by a local schoolteacher. With the imminent arrival of the world's largest pipelaying vessel, the Solitaire, a massive security operation is put into action by the State to ensure that the pipe is laid without interference. When all hope seems lost, events take a dramatic turn...
Following the personal experience of three main characters at the height of local tension, The Pipe is a story of a community tragically divided, and the prospect of a pipeline that can bring economic prosperity or destroy of a way of life shared for generations.
Best Documentary Film, Galway Film Fleadh, 2010
Toronto International Film Festival, 2010
BFI London International Film Festival, 2010
IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2010