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film review

Bright, articulate and charismatic, Caleb Behn supports protests, but goes to law school with the intention of fighting Big Oil and Gas in a different arena: the courts.

In British Columbia, where the government's love affair with liquefied natural gas and First Nations' concerns about the environment seem bound to come to a head, young lawyer Caleb Behn promises to be a force in this fracture.

From B.C.'s northeast, Behn fishes and hunts, but is as comfortable behind a laptop as he is on the land. Bright, articulate and charismatic, Behn supports protests, but goes to law school with the intention of fighting Big Oil and Gas in a different arena: the courts.

The documentary Fractured Land chronicles his struggle, and the film is powerful; a skillful study in landscape as well as character.

The conflict unfolds visually – an industrial invasion of the pristine land: flames shooting out of flare stacks, endless piles of logged trees, enormous white oil tanks rising from the snow. In one heartbreaking scene, Behn assists after a pipeline maintenance crew finds a moose and her calf trapped in a sinkhole.

Meanwhile, the B.C. minister in charge of the file declares "we're going to change the landscape of British Columbia forever."

Not if Behn can help it.