Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 8th, 2010 at 3:53 pm
Portland’s bike scene in
the video below.
(Still from the movie Downfall)
Portland filmmaker Joe Biel has collaborated with veteran local bike scene participant Allan Folz on Mien Fiets, a short video that attempts to explain what has happened to bike activism in Portland since the demise of Critical Mass (a ride that once rallied locals in the hundreds, now barely even exists).
Mein Fiets, a crowd favorite at Filmed by Bike where it debuted back in April, was made by using a creative translation of the oft-parodied bunker scene from the 2004 film Downfall about the last 10 days of Adolf Hitler.
In the film, Hitler becomes enraged when he learns that no one rides in Critical Mass anymore. Here’s one of the exchanges, starting with a tirade from Hitler after he’s told that no one has shown up for the ride:
Hitler: “Critical Mass made Portland. Without Critical Mass the only cyclists in Portland would be middle aged bike geeks commuting across Hawthorne Bridge in yellow Burley jackets. Critical Mass rallied folks out of their homes and onto their bikes, bringing us together once a month… made a community.”
Officer: “My leader, the cyclists have won. There is no need to protest.”
Hitler: “You think there is no need to protest? *** Bullshit! This is Little Beirut for Christ sakes!…”
Watch the 3 min 55 sec video below:
This spirit of this film is complementary to a larger film Biel is working on titled, Aftermass: A post Critical Mass Portland. That film (which he’s trying to raise money for via Kickstarter) will look to tie the demise of Critical Mass in Portland to a resulting lack of aggressive, grassroots activism for bicycles in this city in general. I could write a lot on that topic (I agree with the general idea) but for now, watch the video and let us know what you think.
[BTW, am I the only one that sees the irony in Hitler delivering this message, given the fact that for a lot of people, their negative perceptions of people who ride bikes and the “bike Nazis” termf was likely formed from their memories of Critical Mass participants?”]