Talk about pedal power!
This year’s annual Bicycle Film Festival is a 50-film statement of the empowering nature of two-wheeled transportation.
Rolling out from June 20-25, the long-running confab features bad ass bike women taking charge, refugees pedaling away from oppression and even a film about a man who was so distraught by the 2016 presidential election that he biked a heart-shaped route around the city.
“We asked people to say ‘bicycle’ in one word and people answered ‘freedom’ in different languages,” said festival founder Brendt Barbur, explaining one central theme of his annual event.
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Many of this year’s films have a feminist theme of empowerment.
“Women have an equal if not a larger place in the bicycle movement,” Barbur said.
One film, “A Way Forward,” documents the struggles Kenyan girls go through everyday, as they dodge the fear of being raped on their long walk to school. The directors, brothers Isaac and Jacob Seigal Boettner, show how bikes help young students face their fears and gain a better education.
Another film, “Cut the Catcalling,” focuses on how much harassment female cyclists face as they pedal around town.
But the festival is not all about fear, but love, too.
The featured film, “I Heart USA,” follows English filmmaker Stuart Acker Holt as he cycled a heart across New York City on Election Day. The movie captures the raw emotions of voters Holt encountered along the way, with the heart shape symbolizing some element of hope.
“I made a connection with a man who voted for Trump,” Holt said. “Regardless of his views, I respect his perspective.”
Bicycle Film Festival, June 20-25. Buy tickets here.
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