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Wiebo’s War hits Canadian theatres this October

Wiebo’s War hits Canadian theatres this October

Wiebo’s War hits Canadian theatres this October

*Edited Nov. 23, 2011: Additional theatrical dates have been set for this film. See Wiebo’s War in Montreal starting Dec. 1  at the Montreal CinéRobothèque and in Edmonton at Metro Cinema starting Dec. 2.

“If you’re looking for a documentary that puts the power of journalism on display, this is it.” – Matt Kieltyka, Metro Vancouver

Fall 2011 is starting to look like hard-hitting documentary season here at the NFB. After Pink Ribbons Inc., a doc about the “industry of breast cancer”, here comes Wiebo’s War, a feature documentary depicting a man’s struggle to protect his land and his family in the face of powerful industry interests.

After screening at major Canadian film festivals earlier this season (it made noteworthy appearances at Hotdocs, VIFF, Calgary, and the Atlantic Film Festival), the film will be opening in select movie theatres across the country later this month. Here are the scheduled projection dates:

Ottawa, The Mayfair Theatre – Starting Oct. 14
Winnipeg, Cinematheque – Starting Oct. 19
Vancouver, Vancity – Starting Oct. 21
Calgary, The Plaza – Starting Oct. 21
Edmonton, Metro Cinema – Starting Oct. 21
Toronto, The Royal – Starting Oct. 21

Wiebo’s War tells the story of a man at war with the oil and gas industry. Wiebo Ludwig is the prime suspect in a series of pipeline bombings near his family’s farm, near Hythe, Alberta. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged against the gas industry 10 years ago: barricading roads, blowing up wells, and culminating in the unsolved death of a 16-year-old girl. The Ludwig family lives according to strict religious values. They are self-sufficient in food and energy, but isolated, with 7 unmarried adult children, and 38 grandchildren, many entering their teenage years.

Here is the official trailer, below:

Ludwig is one of the most fascinating Canadian characters of the last 20 years.”

Row Three
After watching “Wiebo’s War”, I haven’t changed my opinions on his actions or beliefs, but I’d like to think I’ve gained a better understanding of his point of view. Certainly the sign of a terrific documentary.

Press +1
Wiebo Ludwig’s story is rich with content and York generally does an excellent job of weaving it all together to make an engaging and provocative tapestry.

Wiebo’s War, dir. David York, prod. David York, Bryn Hughes, Nick Hector (52 Media Inc) and Bonnie Thompson (NFB)

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  1. As a farmer, I’ve witnessed the money offered to build wells. Just say no. The Ludwig family did not deserve this tragedy. The water gets destroyed forever. This is why we have to say no to the Keystone pipeline. We cannot bear the burden of supplying oil. Let’s save our beautiful land.

    — Beth,
  2. I happen to agree with Chapple. I know first hand what Mr. Ludwig is quite capable of. He was a Minister in my home town in Ontario. It didn’t take him very long to destroy the lives of many people, some of whom remain with him to this very day.

    — Judy,
  3. I work on these well sites every day and I do have the knowledge and the brains thank you. People are not suffering and dying. There are rigid regulations that are enforced to protect the public. Can the industry do better? Absolutely. Other industries such as agriculture also pollute. The dairy industry in the Fraser Valley area near Vancouver is an example. Is anyone bombing cows? I would presume you are consumer of natural gas and oil products. Nuff said……

    — Dave Chapple,
    1. a man has every right to protect his family period .Those teenage kids violated a man land ,Mr ludwig had many encounters with oilfeild workers that hold alot of resentment towards him So if someone showed up on his land in the darkness throwing beer cans out a window and doing donuts on his land and driving towards a tent full of kids Who do u think the truck could be full of teenage kids or drunken oil feild workers bent on revenage,What would u do I know what i do. These kids had no respect for a mans land princples beliefts, and they got the ultimate lesson was it right ask them if they ever show that kind of disrespect again and u will get ur answer.

      — mike pers,
    2. On the contrary, it was Wiebo that started the confrontation with the local people, not the other way around as you suggest. Wouldn’t you think that there would be resentment after he was threatening workers and their families, scattering nails on roads and taking potshots into oilfield facilities? Those actions show he had a total disregard for their safety. The whole thing about the tent is a fabricated lie. The tent appeared after the kids had left with their truck full of bullet holes and a dying girl inside. If he wanted to keep people out all he had to do was keep his big farm gates closed. The kids unfortunately played right into his hands. He recently was protesting with some followers at an oil well site near his property. He had a picture of the murdered girl posted on the side of his van. What kind of sick person would do that? You talk about disrespect? Go bury your head back in the sand!!!

      — Dave,
    3. He is a very sick man indeed. His actions are designed to get a response and they always do. He manages to twist everything, so he always looks like the good guy in all those messes he creates.

      — Judy,
  4. Aiding and abetting is the same. Weather he pulled the trigger or not will probably never come out. Someone in the farm house did it. And he knows who it was. He is reported to be dying from cancer. His judgment day draws nearer.

    — Dave Chapple,
  5. You see Dave Chapple – you have to actually live a mile or so away from one of these
    wells that leaked the killer gases and ruined your health before you would have the brains
    to speak fairly on this matter. Alberta is second only to Kazakhstan in the number of certain health problems
    caused by the oil industry. So Wiebo is speaking for those people throughout Alberta who are suffering
    and dieing while the oil industry lies to them. I don’t see anyone else speaking up for the unfortunate
    people who live near the gas wells. Just Wiebo. Maybe after this movie more people will think of what we can do about the problem.

    — fred,
  6. David York said he is screening this film in rural Alberta during the winter months. Does anyone know his schedule for this, or where I could find it?

    — Dee Dee Hibbert,
    1. Hello Dee Dee –
      Thanks for your interest. Nothing is yet confirmed in terms of Wiebo’s War screenings in Alberta this winter, but we will be sure to update this blog post with further screening info as it becomes available. Best, Carolyne

  7. Well thats nice that Wiebo is a movie star who fights the repressive oil patch. I hope you mention that he is also a convicted criminal who murdered a 15 year old girl named Karmen Willis and has shown no remorse. You should also mention that he has continually threatened people who live in the Hythe, Alberta area. They were threatened because they work in the oil patch to feed their families. I hope you also pointed out that he was fired from his position as a preacher in Ontario for his right wing cult like Christian beliefs. Did you mention that he recieved a dishonrable discharge from the US army? How about the fact that he drives domestic and farm vehicles using the refined products produced by the oil and gas companies he attempted to extort money from. Oh yes, he has pulled the blinders over many eyes. Not mine!

    — Dave Chapple,
    1. Dave Chapple’s opinion that Wiebo murdered Karman Willis is libelous. Unless, Mr. Chapple has proof of the crime that the police do not.

      — Jack Joseph,
  8. I think it should also be shown in Montreal so that I and many others could attend. Why is Montreal excluded from the projection schedule?

    — James,
    1. Hi James,
      Glad you asked — new Montreal dates have just been confirmed today. Wiebo’s War will be screened in Montreal at the CinéRobothèque (1564 St-Denis) on Dec. 2,3,4,6,7. Hope you can catch it then.

  9. I admire and am inspired by those who stand on the outside and yell when the Emperor is without his or her clothes. Thank you for this film. I am looking forward to seeing it.

  10. I’m also interested in the release date of Wiebo’s War in US and most importantly the DVD.

    It’s a film whose time has come as the lesson to be learned seems well portrayed.

    Bravo! to the independent, ornery characters in life as they teach us well as to what works and what does not in making a big change for the betterment of all.

    Good Luck!

    Alma Christina

    — Alma,
    1. Hi Alma,
      Thanks for your question. As I just told Geoff, Wiebo’s War will be available on DTO (Download to Own) in February 2012. This means you will be able to download a high-quality version of your film directly from our site to your computer for a small fee. There is also talk of a DVD release around the same date, but nothing firm as of yet. Please be sure to check back this blog for updated info. Best, Carolyne

  11. Let us know here in the States when a DVD is available for purchase from NFB, after the initial run in theaters. As the demands for energy increase, it now appears the U.S. will turn to the tar sands deposits of Canada, as well as frakking the Braaken Formation oil and gas deposits along the Candian/North Dakota and Minnesota borders to help meet our future needs. There also is a proposal for construction of a new pipeline through various provinces of Canada, down through the U.S., to Mexico so that energy companies along the route can tap Canadian energy resources. It’s hard to gauge what the impact of all this will be, but it certainly won’t conform to the desires of this gentleman to preserve the land, learn to live “off-grid”, and flourish. We all need to take a lesson here.

    — Geoff,
    1. Hi Geoff,
      Thanks for your interest. I am hearing the doc will be available for DTO (Download To Own) in February 2012. A DVD might also be available in the US at that date, but no confirmation yet. Please check this blog for more updates, and don’t hesitate to ask again when the date gets nearer. Best, Carolyne

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