On a bright sunny day, Sean Bozkewycz can crank his stereo all day long with his 60 watt solar panel. On less bright days, he’s come up with a different scheme to keep the tunes going – a bicycle powered generator.
Lately, he’s begun taking his green entertainment system out for outdoor movie screenings he’s dubbed “Guerilla Cinema.”
The system works by hooking up a belt from the rear wheel of the bicycle and attaching that to an alternator. The alternator then powers up two deep cycle batteries – one is 900 amps, the other 600 amps. A couple of hours on the bicycle brings the batteries to full charge, Bozkewycz said, though he also charges them at home just in case.
“So far I haven’t had the bike out at a screening because the batteries were enough to get through the movie,” he said. On Thursday, he had the bike out, both to demonstrate the system and in case the batteries started to die.
The poster advertises Guerilla Cinema as “a portable cinema experience delivering knowledge and inspiration in the great outdoors.”
Last week the feature movie was Petropolis, a Greenpeace movie about the Alberta tar sands. The movie was sparse on dialogue and text and was almost entirely a flyover showing the immense scope of the northern Alberta landscape. The movie’s goal was to showcase the vast environmental destruction wrought by tar sand development by contrasting the boreal forest with the massive open pit mines and industrial complexes that have sprung out across the area.
The movies have a left-wing bent. “I want to show independent cinema that’s not the kind of stuff you see if you watch TV or go to the theatre,” said Bozkewycz. “Get some important ideas out there. Get people informed and get people thinking. It’s pretty easy to not think too hard about the way we live in the west.”
At the first Guerilla Cinema, held outdoors in Centennial Park, Bozkewycz showed Story of Stuff, a documentary about our production and consumption systems; and Dick Proenneke’s Alone in the Wilderness, about the filmmakers life in the Alaskan wilderness.
At the second screening, also in Centennial Park, Bozkewycz showed The War on Democracy, a documentary about the relationship between the United States and various Latin American countries. It was chosen as a tribute to Hugo Chavez, the recently deceased former Venezuelan President.
The next three Guerilla Cinema screenings will be in Centennial Park on Sundays March 31, April 7 and April 21. The next movie shown will be The Money Fix.
“In the future I will bring the bike out because it is a bit cold out sitting under the stars watching a movie,” said Bozkewycz. “This way if you get cold you can hop on the bike and power it and warm up.”