Gertten, a Swedish filmmaker and lifelong bike rider, tweeted ahead of the June 13th free showing at Auditoria Ibrapuera that more than 2000 people were expected to watch his urban planning examination. Adding, with a wink: 'Bike parking an issue :)'
The São Paulo premiere was resonant for a number of other reasons. On the Bikes vs. Cars website, the first two “Mind-Blowing Facts” listed involve the Brazilian metropolis:
20 million people live in São Paulo. 7 million cars on the road.
One cyclist is killed in São Paulo every week.
Additionally, a couple of people featured overlap intriguingly with the São Paulo transportation equation. TV commercials director Fabio Menconca makes promo spots for car companies but prefers personally to get around the city by bike, while Nicolas Habib is doing very nicely as the manager of five area JAC Motors dealerships, a brand brought to the country from China by his father. Under Habib's guidance, there are plans to expand the company's reach to other areas of Brazil.
Gertten's film was shown in Rio de Janeiro on June 9th and is connected to a dizzying array of screenings elsewhere. In Spain for example, Bikes vs. Cars is getting a big push from Docs Barcelona. After nationally premiering at that event May 30th, it is being shown across the country throughout June.
As Gertten writes in his Director's Note:
If all cities adopted the model of Copenhagen, where forty percent commute within the city on bikes, it would be a radical change for the world. Something you can measure in health, pollution, oil usage.
[Bikes vs. Cars]