This week’s FFP is the gorgeous, sleepy, creepy and revealing Petropolis by Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler. Fans of his work will be delighted to find his signature style of epic, sweeping cinematic takes making up the architecture of this 43 minute doc released in 2009. The film is a composite of aerial shots gathered from a 3-hour helicopter ride Mettler took above the Alberta tar sands extraction project. His narration adds a layer of history, responsibility, and disdain. It is a haunting portrait of Canada’s worst environmental disaster – revealing the ecological wasteland with nary a trick camera angle, infographic, talking head or jarring edit.
The tar sands project continues under thinly veiled PR designed to convince Canadians, much as “doctors” in smoking ads did in the 50s, that the tar sands project is a good thing for us all. For this reason the film connects with Art Threat’s campaign to pressure Canadian magazine The Walrus to stop greenwashing for the tar sands, and for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in Particular. To find out more about Petropolis or to order a DVD, visit the film’s official site.