When they decided to build a motorway past my door, I booked this in to show the protest group. It was alarming to see how well it fitted the situation decades after it was made. The print hadn't been off the shelf for 14 years and probably hasn't been run since.
It's scary to watch important documentaries vanish.
This lot is one of the peak achievements of the Canadian NFB. The WAR series is another. It's rare to see important issues treated at such length and with such insight. Compare the Australian National Film Board China series and you'll see what I mean.
Lewis Mumford's is one of the clearest voices on urban planning. The 30s Willard Van Dyke THE CITY is him again. He hates cars and I suspect my attitudes were shaped by his. The film makers endorse his points beautifully - alternative transport shown with the great Bert Hanstraa airial shot of the canal that goes OVER a road or the chilling ending, with cars coming off the assembly line every few seconds.
This production has skills which outclass FARENHIET 9/11. It's a failure of the whole medium when we lose work of this quality.
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