Petropolis film

The Alberta Tar Sands in Canada cover an area the size of England and are the second largest oil reserve on the planet. New film, Petropolis, offers some stunning aerial footage of this controversial region, highlighting its devastating impact on the environment

90% of the water used to process bitumen is dumped in giant, toxic lakes called tailings ponds © Greenpeace/Eamon Mac Mahon

The Alberta Tar Sands in Canada cover an area the size of England and are the second largest oil reserve on the planet. New film, Petropolis, offers some stunning aerial footage of this controversial region, highlighting its devastating impact on the environment…

While director Peter Mettler’s 45 minute film opens in the UK on May 14 (details below), the trailer and imagery featured at petropolis-film.com make for pretty compelling viewing. 

Evidence of tar sands exploration, cutting into once unspoiled wilderness © Greenpeace/Eamon Mac Mahon

A production of Greenpeace Canada and shot primarily from a helicopter, the introductory text on the film’s website describes Petropolis as an “unparalleled view of the world’s largest industrial, capital and energy project”.

It also details the environmental impact of the area: “Extracting the crude oil called bitumen from underneath unspoiled wilderness requires a massive industrialised effort with far-reaching impacts on the land, air, water, and climate. It’s an extraordinary spectacle, whose scope can only be understood from far above. In a hypnotic flight of image and sound, one machine’s perspective upon the choreography of others, suggests a dehumanised world where petroleum’s power is supreme.”

Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands, presented by The Co-operative and Dogwoof, opens in the UK on May 14. More details of screenings will be at Dogwoof’s goodwithfilm.com.

A pipeline dumps toxic wastewater into a tailings pond © Greenpeace/Eamon Mac Mahon

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