PowerTriplogo

SYNOPSIS
TRAILER
SCREENINGS
AWARDS
REVIEWS
PRESS
CREDITS
BACKGROUND
BIOS
CONTACT INFO
BUY DVDs
OUTREACH
LINKS
GUESTBOOK
HOME

Reviews

LA Weekly

DOCUMENTARY DAYS: POWER TRIP
Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2003

By David Chute

In the early 1990s, the American-owned "global power company" Applied Energy Services Inc. bought the newly privatized state power company of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Which may seem an odd premise for a gripping film, until you meet the idealistic techies who are in over their heads in the capital city of Tbilisi, trying to explain to furious citizens accustomed to unlimited free power that they will now have to pay for it. As corrupt politicians siphon off energy for their relatives, residential customers weave sparking rat’s nests of wires to steal a feed, and the company hemorrhages a steady $120,000 per day. The triumph of filmmaker Paul Devlin (SlamNation) is in finding a narrative through-line that clarifies this horrendously complicated situation without oversimplifying its issues. AES claims to stand for more than maximizing the bottom line; it wants to “give something back” by helping to restore the city’s infrastructure. The people on the ground make us believe it. The star of the show is AES project manager Piers Lewis, a talkative former non-governmental-organization veteran who was a college chum of Devlin’s. The suspense factor that sets in almost at once is whether the sheer seething chaos will defeat Lewis and his crew of corporate do-gooders. Devlin is not alone in believing that, in the modern world, the power supply is the basis of civilization. He’s managed to turn the notion into a real-life thriller, with a lot more at stake than a stock price or a few careers. (Fairfax Cinemas, Sat.-Sun., Nov. 1-2, 11 a.m.; Monica 4-Plex, Sat.-Sun., Nov. 8-9, 11 a.m.; Playhouse 7, Sat.-Sun., Nov. 15-16, 11 a.m.; Fallbrook, Sat.-Sun., Nov. 22-23, 11 a.m.)