Arts Cycling Films

Bikes vs Cars

Fredrik Gertten has a new documentary film out, which looks very interesting:

I have, give or take, mainly peddled the line that it’s not a war between the two-wheeled and the four-wheeled: how could it be, when a lot of us are both drivers and cyclists (and sometimes, inevitably, also pedestrians)? It seemed to me, much as it does on the road itself, safer not to be adversarial. This film’s message – from the streets of São Paulo to Los Angeles, via the toxic situation in Toronto – makes it plain that a war is exactly what it is: cities are designed for cars and are hostile to bikes. And cars are not designed for life.“Car dependency,” Gertten says, “is a disease for society. If you’re dependent on having a car every day, you have lost your freedom. It’s very sad. Most people are unhappy in traffic. The people who bike their cities, they become city-lovers. When you’re in a car, you don’t see the city, you are only watching the road. On a bike, you can see the sky, you can see the trees. People get to know their countries in a different way.”The way he describes it, which comes across even more intensely in the film, is not so much a clash between bikes and cars as a battle of love and hate. How do you know the contours of where you live? Do you dart across them like an urban hummingbird? Or do you crawl sightlessly along them in a tank?Car, oil and construction industries understand we need to change, but their business depends on the fact that we don’tFredrik Gertten, film-maker“I’m trying to say that what we have out there is not a natural development,” adds Gertten. “Sometimes we believe that traffic is a natural thing, like water. But it’s actually man-made. So the whole LA segment of the film is partly about how it all started and then, of course, what we are up against when we want to change our cities. Because the car industry, the oil industry, the construction industry – they all understand that we need to change, but their business depends on the fact that we don’t change.”

Read on – Bikes vs Cars: why it’s war between cyclists and drivers on city streets