Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives On The Alberta Tar Sands

PETROPOLIS: AERIAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE ALBERTA TAR.


PETROPOLIS: AERIAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE ALBERTA TAR SANDS (Mongrel, 2009) D: Peter Mettler. Rating: NNNNN DVD package: NNN Rating: NNNNN


Simply by flying over the Athabaska tar sands and capturing both the natural and industrialized environment, Peter Mettler creates an ecological horror story that’s also a highly watchable excursion into abstracts of colour, form and texture.

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Opening shots of forest and river give way to the blighted landscape of giant open-pit mines, massive factories and waste water ponds. Twisted shapes and sickly hues fill the screen when Mettler pans to include something recognizable, we realize the immensity of the industrial blight.

The movie is short – 42 minutes – and almost silent save for some very unobtrusive music, a few orienting subtitles and brief narration.

In the extras, seven short interviews with locals, scientists and a Greenpeace activist (this is a Greenpeace production) describe the oil industry’s impact: cancer, mutant fish, global warming and a government that knows and does nothing.

Petropolis is also available on iTunes.

EXTRAS Interviews, slide show. Widescreen. English, French subtitles.

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