Saturday, September 3, 2011

PETROPOLIS: Ariel Perspectives of the Alberta Tar Sands

                                                Image From 

"The Alberta Tar Sands is now the world's second largest oil reserve." 
                         From The Opening of Petropolis: An Ariel View of the Alberta Tar Sands

The opening shots of PETROPOLIS are of the Northern Boreal Forest of Alberta enshrouded in low cloud cover I was mesmerized. There was no music only the sounds of the birds and nature uninterrupted. The film immediately reminded me of one of my personal favorite films of all time, Koyaaisqatsi my second thought was this film was made by a true Soldier of Cinema. That soldier was Canadian film director Peter Mettler

The Tar Sands are very much in the news but recently even more so with a two weeks long sustained protest in Washington D.C. aimed at pressuring the Obama administration with stopping Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline which would be a contentious pipeline from Alberta to Texas. Canadian writer, journalist Naomi Klein was one of more than a thousand people arrested. 

"Peeling back the forest surface has already displaced more earth than the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramid of Cheops and the ten largest damns of the world combined." 
                                                 From Petropolis: Ariel Views of the Alberta Tar Sands

Still From PETROPOLIS: Ariel Perspective of Alberta Tar Sands

Peter Mettler has taken to the air with cameras in what can be the only way to truly show the scope of this vast project which could eventually industrialize an area the size of England. This film is not only a documentary but truly a horror film, a film on par with Gasper Noe's Irreversible. This film is truly showing the rape and plunder of a part of Canada's beautiful wilderness. 

Here is yet another disturbing fact from the film, "Per day, the tar sands operations release as much carbon dioxide as all the cars in Canada."

In a country with such great intellectual wealth should our collective focus not be on the short term plunder of our natural resources for the economy and energy needs but a much more sustained focus on the the environment which can provide not only sustainability but also create new jobs as well as protecting our natural environment?