Bikes vs. Cars - Documentary, Fredrik Gertten, Sweden 2015
What a title: Bikes vs. Cars. Big fight, tough opponents. One quickly ends up mentally with the usual terms used by the car lobby and cycling activists. Combat Cyclist vs. The Fast & the Furious. A fight without meaning, probably also without a winner. But this is about a completely different film - factual, quiet, moving. A film about road traffic in cities. In all its diversity, from the cycling activists in Sao Paulo to the taxi driver in Copenhagen. problems, ideas and solutions. From both sides for both sides.
Cities are compact habitats for people. We founded cities because they gave us protection. Because we acted there. We live in cities because we work there. And we live in cities because they are our space for culture, communication, exchange, opinions. habitat for humans. We moved in and between the cities in many different ways: on foot, on horseback, by bicycle, by tram, by bus, by car. Eventually we started driving ourselves off areas of the city by using those areas for our cars. We persuaded ourselves that car traffic deserves large areas of the city. More and more streets, more and more parking zones.
In this way, we have made room for more and more cars. Because we believed cars are the best way to cover distances in cities. The car-friendly city as a solution for our private transport. Free travel for free citizens. And then suddenly we find that we're barely moving forward because our cities don't have room to make even more space for even more cars. We notice that there are other ways of getting around the city. And we realize that we are not only poisoning our environment, this anonymous living space, but ourselves. We realize that resources are finite, that we as humans are responsible for finding new solutions.
A wonderfully simple aspect of Bikes vs. Cars is that cities around the world have been trying to solve traffic problems with cars for 50 years. None made it. A good reason to try something different.
Fredrik Gertten, Swedish journalist and filmmaker, is not afraid of big opponents. His documentary "Bananas" landed him a lawsuit from the Dole Food Company, the world's largest fruit processor, for spoiling our childhood taste buds with his sugar-soaked treat called fruit cocktail. Incidentally, Gertten made their lawsuit the subject of his next film: "Big Boys gone Bananas!". So he also has a sense of humour. And now he's turning his attention to the subject of bicycles. Or better yet, bicycle traffic.
Frederik Gertten takes us on a journey around the world, visiting cities to show how they deal with the issue of cycling. Factual, free from polemics, without the very simple truths that are repeatedly chewed out to us by both sides. A film that is viewed, requires intelligence in the viewer and leaves room to form one's own opinion. A film that many motorists should therefore also see. Because it also shows the means by which car traffic was established. Sometimes a look behind the scenes helps to open your eyes.
We at Chic Hat felt it was important to give this film an audience. And in the Metropol cinema and its operator Kalle Somnitz, we found someone who gives us this opportunity. And we look forward to many visitors watching this film with us.
Incidentally, Bikes vs. Cars just received the award for best international documentary at the Environmental Film Festival in Turin.
After the film, we invite some invited guests to the stage for a round table discussion related to the topics of traffic and urban planning, to talk about the film, about traffic now and in the near future. We are pleased to have found committed and competent partners for this purpose. The panel discussion will be chaired by Jan Gathmann from Radtouren-Magazin.
Confirmed participants in the round of talks so far:
dr Stephan Keller, Alderman for Order, Law and Traffic, including Head of Traffic Management,
Prof. Thomas Fenner, Professor of Architecture at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Managing Partner FSWLA, including Kö-Bogen 2
Norbert Czerwinski, member of the Committee for Planning and Urban Development, transport policy spokesman for the Greens,
dr Roman Suthold, Head of Transport and Environment, ADAC North Rhine eV
Lerke Tyra, Deputy Chairwoman of the General German Bicycle Club Düsseldorf eV
Bikes vs cars. Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Metropol Cinema, Brunnenstrasse 20, 40223 Düsseldorf. Admission €8, with a guild pass €6.
Link to the movie: Bikes vs cars