With fracking making headlines across the globe, Unearthed challenges the assertion that it is a safe, time-tested technology and questions whether shale gas is the solution for our energy-hungry world.  This award-winning documentary effectively shows how big business interests can hoodwink the unsuspecting and uninformed.

When Jolynn Minnaar first heard about the fracking in the Karoo, her home district, she was optimistic. Companies seeking to drill in this semi-arid area of South Africa promised that the new process of gas extraction was a safe, time-tested one; a practice that would bring widespread prosperity for the poor, rural Karoo communities.

But after stumbling across a rumoured case of water contamination in Pennsylvania, Jolynn is drawn into an 18-month investigation which takes her across the United States - the home of the fracking technology - in order to understand what this new technology could mean for the semi arid Karoo and other countries considering its implementation.

Battling gag orders and no trespassing zones, and suffering first hand chemical exposure from drilling sites, Jolynn’s discoveries leave her horrified - and determined to share her findings with the Karoo residents and the world before it’s too late. Unearthed offers a rare glimpse into the murky waters surrounding the shale gas industry.

Community partners


What the critics say…

“Opened my eyes to the devastating effects that fracking has, not only on the environment, but also on human lives� — Suzanne Cooper - Stand


  • Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014: Green Award
  • Encounters International Film Festival: Best South African Film Audience Award
  • Tri Continental Film Festival: Best Film Audience Award

Director: Jolynn Minnaar
Producer: Dylan Voogt, Stage 5 Films
Run Time: 81 minutes

Stay in your seats

Followed by a panel discussion with Joe Foy of Wilderness Committee, Unearthed director Jolynn Minnaar (via Skype), and Dr. Larry Barzelai, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.