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Monday, November 7, 2005

Paul Devlin's Power Trip in Texas

"Filmmaker Paul Devlin dubs his most recent film, Power Trip (2003), a 'dramatic real-life thriller about corruption, assassination, and street-rioting over electricity in the former Soviet Union.'"

"Obviously, one of the most tangible experiences of how truly [finished] communism was in this troubled but beautiful country situated in the Caucasus Mountains, near Turkey and Chechnya, was the arrival of AES Corp., the largest owner of power in the world, a multinational U.S. company with an unusually decentralized management style and the laudable mission of bringing competition to the power sector in remote parts of the world."

"Devlin's camera captured drama aplenty in footage of Georgians reading by candlelight, sitting expectantly in front of darkened TV screens in darkened living rooms waiting for the power to switch on, walking on preternaturally darkened city streets."

"Consumers, including the government, found ways to sabotage AES-Telasi's plan, circumvent their meters, and keep the electricity on. With the company losing $120,000 a day, Lewis had to get tough and start cutting off service for nonpayment (even for the airport, just as a plane was coming in). More public outcry, more widespread government corruption."

"The filmmaker's sports editing and shooting skills are certainly evident in Power Trip, which, combined with wonderful local music, makes for a stirring film about electric bills and their nonpayment. Of course, we also learn a whole lot about the colorful Republic of Georgia and its feisty inhabitants along the way." ...

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