The Pipe isn't so much a hard political statement as it wants to be. Unintentionally I imagine, it plays out as a study of rural people and their affinity to the land they walk on (or the seabed they ride their boats on). For those who don't know, The Pipe began to be filmed after 5 men were jailed for attempting to prevent construction workers from Shell Oil from entering their land in order to begin work on a gas-pipeline extending from Broadhaven Bay inland to Rossport, which is located on the western Irish seaboard. Over the next five years, the whole thing escalated as a Multi-Billion Global Corp. versus a small Local Rural Community in Co. Mayo grand bout. The documentary may come across as biased but it had no other choice as, apparently, Shell Oil would not offer their point of view to the film-makers. What is shown instead is a community in turmoil over the whole unprecedented affair. Mad activists complicate things by shouting other concerned locals down in the community centre and by going on hunger strike, priests try to get the government to step in, waves of Guards literally sweep protesters off the road and the 'chief' of the area parks his boat in front of a gigantic ship owned by Shell in order to protect his fishing pots. There's a lot of raised and impassioned voices and much swear words.
Unfortunately, the end product of the documentary only serves to show the whole thing as a sorry mess. The pipeline still goes ahead and theres no fairytale ending. The film The Field may have been a dramatisation by playwright John B. Keane but it rings very true even to this day for Irish people in remote parts of the island. The land is everything. It's generational. But it's more than that. There's been conflicts with 'foriegners' before in Ireland (that's an understatement by the way) and the wily Locals actually managed to hold out on several occasions. The stories that recount those successes have been passed down from grandson to son in communities like these and that is why to them, no Global Corp. will traipse across their land in quest for profit without a fight. If this all sounds intriguing, then you should watch this if you can.