The bicycle, an amazing tool for change. Activists and cities all over the world are moving towards a new system. But will the economic powers allow it? Bikes vs Cars, a new film project from BANANAS!* and Big Boys Gone Bananas!* director Fredrik Gertten, looks into and investigates the daily global drama in traffic around the world.

“IT'S NOT A WAR, IT'S A CITY” - ALINE CAVALCANTE, SÃO PAULO

Climate change and never-ending gridlocks frustrate people more than ever. Instead of whining, people in cities around the world take on the bicycle as a Do It Yourself solution. Road rage and poor city planning creates daily death amongst the bicyclists. And now they demand safe lanes.

WE KNOW THAT THE WORLD NEEDS RADICAL CHANGES TO SAVE THE CLIMATE AND THE ENVIRONMENT,
BUT THE CAR INDUSTRY IS SELLING MORE CARS THAN EVER. 1 BILLION CARS TODAY, 2 BILLION CARS 2020.

It’s an uneven fight. Activists and politicians that work for change are facing a multi-billion dollar car, oil and construction industry that use all their means to keep society car dependent. We know that the world needs radical changes to save the climate and the environment, but the car industry is selling more cars than ever. Today there are one billion cars in the world. By 2020, that number will double.

“UNOBSTRUCTED RIDE, SHOT LIKE A ARROW, SPEEDING AROUND CURVES: THAT'S THE WAY YOU FEEL ON A BIKE THESE DAYS, NOT IN A CAR, AS THE CAR ADVERTISERS WANT TO MAKE YOU FEEL” - DAN KOEPPEL, LA

The film will follow the individuals around the world that are fighting to create change. We meet Aline at Sao Paulo’s Ciclofaxia, the weekly Sunday ride where one lane of Paulista Avenue is opened for bikes only. Aline is an inspirational person in the city’s bicycle movement, who tries to focus on the positive aspects of being a cyclist. But that can be difficult in a city where one bicyclist is killed every four days. And in Toronto, where mayor Rob Ford strips away the city’s bike lanes in his battle to win the “war on cars,” we watch as members of the Urban Repair Squad infiltrate the streets at night, using spray paint and stencils to replace them.

FROM THE 'CHICAGO GHOST BIKES,' THE CHICAGO RIDE OF SILENCE.

From bike activists in Sao Paulo and Los Angeles, fighting for safe bike lanes, to the City of Copenhagen, where forty percent commute by bike daily, Bikes vs Cars will look at both the struggle for bicyclists in a society dominated by cars, and the revolutionary changes that could take place if more cities moved away from car-centric models.

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A FILM BY FREDRIK GERTTEN
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PEOPLE IN THE TRAILER

Dan Koeppel

Dan is a writer, urban explorer and avid bicyclist who lives with his wife and son in Los Angeles. He’s a self-proclaimed L.A. transit geek and the founder and organizer of The Big Parade, a two-day community walking event in Los Angeles.


Aline Cavalcante

Aline moved to Sao Paulo in 2008 and soon after discovered the joy of getting around the city by bike. She is now a blogger and bicycle activist, writing for the blog Vá de Bike. She is active in many bikerelated groups and collectives, including the bar and bike shop Las Magrelas, which she was instrumental in organizing.


Ivan Naurholm

Ivan has been navigating the streets of Copenhagen as a taxi driver (and occasional tour guide) for many years now and has watched the city develop into one of the best biking cities in the world. He sees the benefits of that, but says that sharing the roads also makes his daily life a lot more stressful.


Raquel Rolnik

Raquel is an urban planner, author and professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. She is also the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations for the right to adequate housing.


Nicolas Habib

Nicolas became the manager of five Sao Paulo JAC Motors dealerships after his father, Sergio Habib, brought the Chinese manufacturer to Brazil. He will soon become a Regional Director for the company as it expands across the country.


Don Ward

Don is the organizer of L.A.’s Wolfpack Hustle, the underground bicycling club known for their midnight rides and drag races, which attract thousands of the city’s cyclists. Don has become a respected bicyclist advocate in the community and was recognized with Livable Street’s Advocate of the Year award in 2010.


Molly Arevalo

Molly is a teacher, working for the Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency program. The bike is her preferred vehicle for commuting around the city.


Rob Ford

Toronto’s 64th Mayor came to power to stop what he calls the “War on Cars.” In 2012, the city spent $300,000 to remove the Jarvis Street bike lanes.


The Ghost Bikes seen in trailer are in memory of Gerson de Souza Pinto in Sao Paulo and Henry Mejia in Toronto.

DIRECTORS NOTE

Born in a city where the bike is the natural choice for going from one place to another, I’ve traveled the world wondering why there are so few bicycles. Now, the car model as we know it has reached an extreme level with constant gridlock and millions of productive hours lost. Frustration is growing and cities need to look into new models.

The new urban biking is pushing this development. It’s a growing movement, which I’ve now seen around the world. People who simply put a sign on their bike saying “ONE LESS CAR.” A Do-It-Yourself attitude towards a global crisis.

It’s a positive message. If all cities adopted the model of Copenhagen, where forty percent commute within the city on bikes, it would be a radical change for the world. Something you can measure in health, pollution, oil-usage.

And now the conflict. The car industry is in the center of our economic system. For the car owners and commuters that have become so invested in their lifestyle, it will be painful to change. It’s a conflict that interests me, and that is why I’ve decided to take on this project. A project of passion.