Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle

Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle tells the surreal, fascinating, tragicomic story of the battle over America’s most scandalous clean energy project.

Cape Wind would be the U.S.’s first offshore windfarm…But strange alliances formed for and against: Kennedys, Kochs, and everyday folks do battle with the developer and green groups over the future of American power.

Cape Spin An American Power Struggle

In 2001, the proposal was made for the Cape Wind Project, America’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, in the state of Massachusetts. The intended location is Nantucket Sound, an area where the rich and famous spend their vacations. This green project meets massive resistance and is transformed into a huge case that lobbyists are so heavily involved in that it becomes unclear what the real issues are. John Kirby and Robbie Gemmel show the many supporters and opponents who have involved themselves in the project over the last decade.

Using fast-paced cuts, they present a large amount of information. Increasingly, it’s less about the project than the power struggles themselves – although it ultimately proves impossible to get a handle on them. Even interested journalists seem unable to figure out what they’re dealing with. “It’s about dinner parties, not political parties,” explains one of them. As an aid to the viewer, Kirby and Gemmel use icons to indicate who is for and who is against. Their use of old-fashioned music and black-and-white film give a twist of irony to this serious state of affairs. And although they are careful not to choose sides, they do hint at an interesting alternative.

The film Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle gives a mesmerizing look at the heated political battle between the advocates of renewable green energy and the preservationists of the New England coastline. An energy company proposes to build 130 tall wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. Both sides, aided by carefully spun well-funded informational campaigns – and the media reacts. Local reporting is fast and furious and the battle turns national – to the Daily Show with great behind-the-scenes material.

The information campaigns spin half-truths and don’t allow for intelligent discussion. Local media, lost between the salvos of the two camps cannot seem to dissect the truth. This film is a sad but funny reflection at political discourse in America.