From Sao Paulo to Los Angeles, cities around the world are caught between the big business of the car industry, demands of cyclists fighting for their safety and right to the road, all the while battling issues with chaotic traffic and the ever present threat of climate change.
Showing for the first time in Canberra at the Environmental Film Festival Australia, Bikes vs Cars by Swedish documentary filmmaker Frederick Gertten, looks at the “war” between drivers and cyclists, through personal stories, government policies and big business.
This is also the first time the Environmental Film Festival Australia has come to Canberra after six years screening in Melbourne. The festival aims to advance the knowledge and understanding of environmental issues through film.
The bike is a great tool for change, but the powerful interests who gain from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business. In the film we meet activists and thinkers who are fighting for better cities, who refuse to stop riding despite the increasing number killed in traffic.
Speaking at the SXSW Film Festival at the film’s international premiere this year, Gertten said that the film was really about the conflict between different ways of building cities and prioritising bicycles, walking and public transport over cars.
“We need to change, and the bicycle is an amazing tool for change, and you can see that coming that all over the planet, people are taking on the bike, not because they love the environment but it’s more efficient, it’s more fun,” he said.
Despite the challenges facing many of the world’s most crowded cities, Gertten said there’s a good reason to be optimistic about the future. “That’s the bicycle itself, it’s a revolutionary tool that can change cities,” he said.
Special offer for Pedal Power ACT members
Get 10% off your movie tickets to Bike Vs Cars – call the office on 6248 7995 with your name and member number before you book online.
Film screening details
Date: 8.30pm, Saturday 12 September
Place: Palace Electric Cinema, 2 Phillip Law Street, Canberra
Part of the Environmental Film Festival Australia which runs from 11 – 13 September