Caught in the Act

Blowing Hard Over Cape Wind

By Jared Bowen

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June 15, 2012

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Director/Editor John Kirby and Producer/Editor Daniel Coffin shooting from a beach in Provincetown, MA.

BOSTON — It was ugly, rancorous and very well funded. The proposal for a wind farm in Nantucket Sound ignited a very fiery debate. There to capture much of it was a filmmaking team.  Their documentary, Cape Spin is in theaters now.
 
Cape Spin examines the very public division over Cape Wind—a field of wind turbines to be planted five miles off the coast in Nantucket sound. The only thing simple about the project is the debate. People are either for or against.
 
Refreshingly objective, the film looks at what propelled the debate—a total of $70 million dollars spent by each side, spinning the dialogue and frustrating journalists like WCAI’s Sean Corcoran. 
 
“Trust one side, it doesn’t work so well. Then the next week you trust the other, it doesn’t work so well. So in the end you stop trusting,” he said.
 
Directors Robbie Gemmel and John Kirby were industrious—gathering 550 hours of footage including public debates, interviews, and television appearances including some here on Greater Boston and the Daily Show.
 
The film is cheeky—taking a lighter approach to a vicious dialogue where the spin was dizzying. The wind turbines would cloud military radar…or they wouldn’t. They’d harm wildlife…or they’d pose no threat. They’d blight on the landscape…or they’d barely be seen. In the end, Cape Spin does not just reveal the anatomy of a major story, it shows the blood and guts as well.
 
Watch the Greater Boston discussion with filmmakers Robbie Gemmel and John Kirby.

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About the Author
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen
Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts. 

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