Petropolis review

A short but salient doc about a controversial oil project in Canada

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Subtitled Aerial Perspectives On The Alberta Tar Sands, film essayist Peter Mettler’s ambient edu-doc captures incredible overhead views of the massively controversial oil-extraction project in Northern Alberta.

Little narration is needed: sweeping shots of the truly overwhelming natural terrain are as awesome as anything in Avatar.

As his camera hints at the immensity of “a landscape that we cannot comprehend from the ground”, a shift from dreamy abstraction to hard reality registers in footage of toxic waste.

A late-film monologue rams home the sheer scale of eco-devastation but Mettler’s haunting images speak with conscientious clarity for him.

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Freelance writer

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.