Urban Velo

Caravan/Prague DVD

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings attract considerable attention no matter what city around the world they are held. In more open societies, the protests surrounding these meetings can get rather intense, as both sides of the debate deploy the latest tactics to disrupt the other. Caravan/Prague documents a bicycle caravan which travels 500 miles across Europe to the 2000 meetings. The first-hand account of this journey and the troubles along the way by Zack Winestine gives a solid view of the social/political movement against the IMF/WB policies and the community formed around said resistance.

While it is easy for some to write off a film like Caravan/Prague as just another piece of riot porn, there is more to it than the ever-present establishment/counterculture, police/protester dichotomy. This film does a good job of showing the human side of the anti-globalization movement and the inner dialogue that exists along the way. It captures the sense of energy felt in large scale gatherings of resistance. The story of the bicycle caravan and the struggles of crossing multiple European borders lends a unique perspective to the entire genre.

While the vocabulary and actions on the ground have changed since Caravan/Prague was shot, the film is relevant as both history and inspiration. Whether or not one agrees with the particular message within, the community solidarity and willingness to stand up for one’s beliefs that is displayed is refreshing. Available for $24.95 through Cinema Libre Studio.

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