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Wiebo's War (2011)

7.4
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Tells the story of a Christian community, at war with the oil and gas industry. Wiebo Ludwig is a suspect in a series of pipeline bombings near his farm. The bombings echo a campaign of ... See full summary »

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Title: Wiebo's War (2011)

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Tells the story of a Christian community, at war with the oil and gas industry. Wiebo Ludwig is a suspect in a series of pipeline bombings near his farm. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged 10 years ago: barricading roads, blowing up wells, culminating in the unsolved death of a teen aged girl. The Ludwigs live according to their religious values. They are self-sufficient in food and energy, but isolated, with seven unmarried adult children, and 38 grandchildren. They believe that those who don't share their beliefs, like filmmaker David York, are living in terrible darkness. Written by David York

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28 April 2011 (Canada)  »

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Grandpa, an unintended Eco Warrior: Wiebo Ludwig
8 May 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This frank documentary tells the story of Wiebo Ludwig and his extended family from their perspective. The family has been widely reported and described as a Christian community at war with the oil and gas industry

  • with Wiebo the prime suspect in "terrorist" well or line tampering


and bombings that took place in Northern Alberta.

This sincere and authentic documentary reveals and brings into context under-reported events and the view of a protective patriarch tested by his family's repeated human stillbirths, livestock deaths and contamination thought to be caused by the effects of nearby gas well development activities: in short, the manifestation of evil by human hand.

Personal traumas, impotent protests, suspects of vandalism and explosions, their political consequences, police raids and monitoring: all are endured by the family-community as members' objections and pleas to officials and operators of the suspect gas wells are ignored.

Unheard, ostracized, isolated and harassed, their strong moral belief system distracts and thus their public portrayal progressively assigns them the image of religious fanatics. This heightens to "dangerous" when a female teen was shot during her group's act of violation and harassment on the family's private property.

This documentary sadly holds within it an unending drama that no man or family, or external surrounding community should be subject to. It may lead one to contemplate our inherent tendency for fuzzy distraction via discriminatory stereotypes in the face of very real human suffering, particularly when misdirected through small minded, small town politics and the press of larger societal influence.

The experiences of this family gives pause for thought from many different perspectives. Indeed their experiences could be said to be the result of a Christian defined evil: caring far less about the treatment of one's fellow man than one's own self; leading to death rather than joyful life. From a secular perspective, it also highlights the consequences of unequal voice or legal access and representation, or even the imbalanced distributions of power between the person and the corporate entity in Canadian society - an imbalance that seems to prove a heightened risk of impersonally imposed personal sacrifice and tragedy.

Mr. Wiebo Ludwig died of esophageal cancer in the spring of 2013. Whether in agreement with him or not, whether repulsed or intrigued or respectful of his experiences and view, they are cause for thought,lucky to have been recorded and well worth viewing.


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