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The Exxon Mobil station on 2nd Street and Avenue C became an impromptu movie theater last night, as a coalition of climate-change activists projected a short film about Hurricane Sandy recovery onto the wall above it.
Josh Fox, one of the filmmakers behind the anti-fracking film Gasland, shot the 25-minute film in the Rockaways in the first weeks after the storm hit.
Fox had shown some of the footage earlier this month at a Do The Math event, and in the parking lot last night he said the guerrilla projection stunt fit in well with that campaign’s goal to tie the responsibility for climate change directly to fossil fuel companies.
“We’re dealing with a hurricane that was supercharged by climate change,” Fox said. “Really, we should be calling it Hurricane Exxon.”
About 100 people turned out for the film, which was beamed onto a nearby wall by the Illuminator, a tricked-out van equipped with a high-powered projection system.
The Illuminator was initially funded by Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream fame and made appearances at protests throughout the year, but after a public disagreement with the Occupy Wall Street activists using it, Cohen repossessed the van in October. It wasn’t clear that Cohen knew of or approved last night’s outing.
Bri Jackson, a resident of Ocean Village in the Rockaways, said she came to Manhattan for the screening to spread the message that people in her neighborhood are a long way from recovery.
“We still need help,” Jackson said. “We’re still running on generators. People on different floors still don’t have reliable power. I’m trying to get this information out to people.”
Here’s the film that was projected above the Exxon station: