February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle (DVD)

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Cape Spin DVD coverCape Spin! An American Power Struggle. DVD. 86 min. Prod. by the Electron Project. Dist. by Video Project. 2012. ISBN unavail. $89.
Gr 9 Up–The political, social, and cultural dimensions of the campaign to establish the United States’s first offshore wind farm in Massachusetts’ famed Nantucket Sound is chronicled in this excellent program. This debate, which began in 2001 and went on for more than 10 years, is a complex tangle of regional and national political bedfellows, environmentalism, elitism, and localism. From the fisherman to the Kennedys, from Bill Koch to the Native American tribes, from Ken Salazar to Green Peace, the whole spectrum of concerned citizenry expresses their varied points of view—with plenty of inaccuracy and hypocrisy to go around. While there is a pro-clean energy leitmotif throughout the documentary, the directors do depict supporters and detractors with a fair hand. Through a satirical soundtrack and flashy graphic representations, viewers get a fuller sense of all the factors that inform a local campaign with national consequences. It is a humorous study in government process, media spin, grassroots advocacy, and the burgeoning field of eco-capitalism. Cape Spin is highly recommended for use in history, civics, environmental science, or political science classes at the high school, community college, and university level.–Vincent M. Livoti, University of Maine at August