How to Blow Up a Pipeline Trailer: Neon’s eco-thriller goes wild

Co-writer and star Ariela Barer told IndieWire that Daniel Goldhaber’s buzz at TIFF is about rewiring our brains around environmental doom.

“How to Blow Up a Pipeline” offers one answer to how to solve climate change: Destroy the perpetrators.

The 2022 TIFF breakout film follows a group of environmental activists determined to dismantle an oil pipeline in West Texas. The Daniel Goldhaber-directed thriller is described in the official logline as part high-stakes heist and part radical exploration of direct action as climate activism.

“How to Blow Up a Pipeline” is based on Andreas Malm’s controversial nonfiction book and stars Ariela Barer (“Runaways”), who also produced and co-wrote the film with Jordan Sjoll. “Euphoria” and “You” season 4 breakout Lukas Gage, “Sharp Stick” actress Kristine Froseth, Forrest Goodluck, Sasha Lane, Jayme Lawson, Marcus Scribner and Jake Weary also star.

IndieWire spoke with screenwriter and star Ariela Barer, who worked on the heist film with Jordan Sjoll and Daniel Goldhaber over six months in the depths of the pandemic. The film’s characters, mainly from Generation Z, are a sobering reminder that the different generations are philosophically vastly different in their attitude towards environmental collapse and the degree of hopelessness.

“We’ve all had different degrees of dissatisfaction with the world in our lives and we’ve felt incredibly powerless, and you just know how we can affect the world. And this book kind of fell into our laps,” he said. “We all became obsessed. It was so invigorating. It felt as if he had rekindled a fire in us.”

He added: “Our world view has been shaped by very different eras. And that was an important dialogue that we wrote.”

Barer also said he was uniquely inspired by the “climate change panic attacks” he began having as a young child. “I was so nihilistic. My teenage rebellion turned into caring about the world.”

In addition to his personal concerns about growing up, Barer began researching real-life environmental protesters.

“Even with the research we did in the film, it got dark,” he said. “You read about the horrors of the world and people you can’t hold accountable.”

How to Blow Up a Pipeline opens in theaters on April 7.

Watch the trailer below.


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