We all have heard about the Wiebo Ludwig community Trickle Creek in Hythe, Alta, very close to our northern B.C. border.
For now two decades Ludwig has been accused of being an ecoterrorist and was portrayed as a patriarchal cult leader.
Ludwig calls himself a devout Christian driven to defend his farm and close-knit community from the deadly effects of toxic sour gas wells and fracking.
In 2001 he was convicted and spent about 18 months in prison.
In October 2008 bombings started once again, that time around in Tom’s Lake near Dawson Creek in B.C.
David York, a film maker with the National Film Board of Canada, spent time with the Ludwig family and made a powerful documentary about them and their clashes with police and media during that time.
This film is called Wiebo’s War and was released in March 2011.
It was first shown during the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto in May.
The Hot Docs is the largest international documentary festival in all of North-America, showing more than 200 films in less than two weeks.
“The job of every documentary is to bring something new and richer. In this case, people have pretty strong preconceptions, either positive or negative,” David York said.
“What I bring to the table with the film is two years of shooting with the family at the height of the most recent conflict.”
In his documentary York also shows clips taken by the Ludwig family over the years which chronicle a litany of horrors: livestock deaths, mass miscarriages of lambs and of human babies with similar deformities, severe reaction to gas flares, and desperate attempts to reach government agencies.
Their footage of confrontations with gas workers and police, and its stark contrast with media reports, raises a critical issue: when politicians and police become sock puppets for private interests, is vigilante action justified?
The film became available for public screenings in clubs around Canada in October. The Williams Lake Film Club confirmed the film to be screened this coming Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Gibraltar Room, Memorial Complex.
Back doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
This film is full of questions and to many of them you will have to find your own answers. I hope there will be a lively discussion over cookies and hot chocolate or tea afterwards.
Wiebo’s War is on Tuesday Oct. 25, 7 p.m. in the Gibraltar Room. Admission at the back door: $9 regular, $8 members, $6 seniors (65+). Once again we were lucky to get a hot new item early in the game, thanks to a tip from Andrew Nikiforuk.Everyone is invited. See you there.