Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Mettler, Peter. Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands. Toronto: Greenpeace Canada, 2009. HDCam, 43 min.

Canada’s tar sands are an oil reserve the size of England. With Canada being the largest foreign supplier of crude oil to the U.S. and production possibly tripling in coming years, the controversial mining of the tar sands already releases as much carbon dioxide per day into the environment as all the cars in Canada. Extracting the crude oil called bitumen from underneath unspoiled wilderness requires a massive industrialized effort with far-reaching impacts on the land, air, water, and climate. It is an extraordinary spectacle, whose scope can only be understood from far above. In a hypnotic flight of image and sound, one machine’s perspective upon the choreography of others, suggests a dehumanized world where petroleum’s power is supreme. (Source: Adapted from Greenpeace and Icarus Films)

© 2009 Greenpeace Canada. Trailer used with permission.

This film is available at the Rachel Carson Center Library (RCC, 4th floor, Leopoldstrasse 11a, 80802 Munich) for on-site viewing only. For more information, please contact

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Further readings: 
  • Nikiforuk, Andrew. Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. Vancouver: Greystone, 2010.