Bikes vs. Cars

"Think of it as David & Goliath on wheels... Will get you thinking about how you get around." - Montreal Gazette

“Dedicated to the potentially deadly tension between cyclists and drivers, Swedish director Fredrik Gertten’s documentary gets at something much more complex: the way our cities are designed, and the implications for humankind.

“Cars didn’t always rule the world. There was a time, a century back, when cycling was the preferred mode of commute. But with the rise of the automobile came pressure from the auto industry; soon mega-highways were the norm and, in some cities, even public transport was pushed out of the picture.

“Gertten travels to L.A., where GM bought up (and soon eradicated) bus and trolley lines in 1945, setting the stage for La-La-Land’s car-ruled roadways of today. We meet Dan Keppel, a cycling enthusiast on the hunt for a long-gone bicycle highway, who is pushing city politicians for more bike paths. Over to the Blade Runner-esque cityscape of São Paulo, Brazil, where charismatic blogger and biker Aline Cavalcante becomes increasingly involved in cyclists’s rights.  Meanwhile, in the biking utopia of Copenhagen, Denmark, we get the grand tour from chatty cabbie Ivan Naurholm, who finds his way through the flurry of two-wheelers with a Zen-like patience. For shock value, Gertten stops by Toronto to catch former mayor Rob Ford removing bike lanes and making inflammatory remarks about the hardships suffered by drivers.

“Tossing in commentary from urban planners, car dealers, city advisers and bike nerds, the director emerges with an enlightening examination of his subject. He pulls out some thought-provoking statistics along the way, such as this biggie: in Copenhagen, four out of five people own a bike, and 40 per cent of the population commutes by bike – more than in the entire U.S.A. Americans spend the equivalent of 55 workdays in transit each year. There were 1 billion cars on the planet in 2012, and that number is expected to double by 2020.

“Bikes vs. Cars is an important film that will get you thinking about – and perhaps rethinking – how you get around.” - T’Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette


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