Wiebo’s War: One man’s controversial battle against gas development

David York’s acclaimed feature documentary explores one man’s controversial battle against gas development.

Wieibo Ludwig is the prime suspect in a string of 2008 bombings. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged against the oil and gas industry in the 1990s.

Wiebo Ludwig’s Trickle Creek Farm is off the grid and self-sufficient. It also sits atop one of the largest fields of natural gas on the continent. Despite the Ludwig family’s concerns and protestations over the potentially harmful impact of sour gas on their health and sustainability, a series of wells were drilled in close proximity to their remote Christian community. Soon after, livestock began to die, and the family started to experience health problems, including a series of miscarriages. After five years of being dismissed and ignored by industry, politicians and the press, Ludwig went to war.

“Ludwig may well be an eco-terrorist and a charismatic cult leader — a biblical patriarch who goes to war against an industry that’s encroaching on his land with sour gas wells. But this documentary reaches beyond the headlines to find some credible sympathy for Ludwig. His self-sufficient farm is impressive, and so is his family… Without necessarily endorsing Ludwig’s tactics, WIEBO’S WAR presents a sympathetic portrait of the horrors his community has had to endure…” Brian D Johnson · Maclean’s

WIEBO’S WAR is a co-production of 52 Media Inc. (David York, producer) and the National Film Board (Bonnie Thompson, producer). The film had its North American premiere last spring at Hot Docs, where it was praised by critics. Variety wrote that WIEBO’S WAR “paints a complex and compelling picture of its subject,” while Exclaim! called Ludwig “one of the most fascinating Canadian characters of the last twenty years.” NOW Magazine stated that the film “has everything a great doc needs: a superb story that rewrites the script the media wrote about Ludwig at the time, a fascinating character in Ludwig himself, and terrific footage shot by his family as they encountered federal authorities and gas company executives.”

Wiebo’s War can be seen next at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank Street · Ottawa ON · Canada), October 14 – 18, 2011. Director David York will be in attendance to introduce the film and for a post-screening Q&A on October 15, 16, 2011

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