Recent Four Rivers grads showing documentary in Longmeadow

  • Fire investigators pause while searching the debris at a home that exploded following a gas line failure in Lawrence in September 2018. AP File Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 6/24/2019 6:42:21 PM

LONGMEADOW — Four Rivers Charter Public School seniors became filmmakers, producing a 47-minute documentary “Under Pressure,” which will be screened on Wednesday.

The documentary will be shown from 7 to 8:30 p.m at the First Church in Longmeadow. Admission is free.

Through the documentary, the Four Rivers senior class investigated the Sept. 13, 2018, Merrimack Valley gas tragedy and explored the flaws in the energy system, according to a press release about Wednesday’s screening. Each senior class at the charter school produces a documentary on a topic related to energy.

The student filmmakers interviewed dozens of people including explosion victims, first responders, business owners, elected officials, scientists, utility representatives, activists and journalists, the press release states.

Following the screening, there will be a question and answer session on the film with Newton City Councilor Emily Norton and Madeleine Lombard, a student who worked on the film and has since graduated from Four Rivers. There will also be a discussion of proposed plans for a gas metering station in Longmeadow.

Lombard said she wants viewers to see what she learned in the process of producing the documentary.

“I learned from this experience that natural gas is a dangerous energy source and it’s a potent greenhouse gas,” Lombard said.

She added that the film serves as a tool for education that should be spread.

“This film not only serves to educate, but to share the stories of the survivors,” Lombard said.

“Under Pressure” received a 2019 Massachusetts Economic and Environmental Affairs Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

Those who can’t make it to Wednesday’s screening can watch the film on YouTube at

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.

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