Adding more fuel to the environmental debate, which hit high gear with Davis Guggenheim‘s “An Inconvenient Truth,” is Chris Paine‘s doc “Who Killed the Electric Car?” The film looks back at California’s earnest attempt to solve its air pollution problem in the ’90s by requiring an eventual condition that 10% of all cars sold in the state, the nation’s largest market for automobiles, be run on alternative fuel. Enter GM’s EV-1, which was an updated version of an old technology — electricity. Although the car did not immediately capture a huge crossroads of the popular imagination, it became an icon for many Californians who drove them through its clogged highways sans the damaging ozone emissions. But, the EV 1 was not to be the roadmap to a greener world as the auto giant quickly snapped up the cars — all were leased — and promptly crushed them, much to the horror of its very loyal owners (well, leasers).
Paine’s “Who Killed the Electric Car?” takes a look at the rise of the car and its untimely crash into the annals of auto history and asks why? At a recent screening of the film in New York for press and guests, director Michael Moore, who introduced the film, recalled his own GM doc “Roger and Me” and wondered aloud how this car’s seemingly glowing future could crash head-on with so many unexpected adversaries.
Sony Pictures Classics will open the film in theaters this weekend.
THE LIST FOR THIS WEEK:
“Strangers with Candy,” directed by Paul Dinello
Based on the popular Comedy Central show of the same name, the big screen version of “Candy” is the story of Amy Sedaris’ Jerri Blank, a forty-something ex-con and junky who returns home to return to high school as a freshman. Starring: Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker (ThinkFilm) Official Website | indieWIRE Interview: Paul Dinello
“Who Killed the Electric Car?,” directed by Chris Paine
An inside look at the rise and fall of the electric car movement in the United States. Who is to blame for the now extinct program that was once developed by the big automakers? (Sony Pictures Classics) Official Website
“The Motel,” directed by Michael Kang
The story of a teenager who lives and works at a sleezy motel and befriends a charismatic man who checks in. Starring: Jeffrey Chyau, Sung Kang, Jade Wu, Samantha Futerman, Alexis Chang (Palm Pictures) “Official Website
“Rank,” directed by John Hyams
A look at three men battling to become the bull riding world champion. (IFC Films) Official Website
“The Blood of My Brother,” directed by Andrew Berends
From this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, a look at the war in Iraq from the perspective of a family grieving over the loss of their eldest son. Official Website