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#TIFF19 Review: And We Go Green (TIFF Docs)

September 16, 2019

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Started as an eco-friendly alternative to the fuel-burning of Formula 1, Formula E is a racing series that has been going strong since 2014, in which the drivers compete against each other in battery operated cars, offering a carbon neutral alternative to the high emissions of traditional motorsports. The cars are charged by generators that run on biofuel so they have as little of an environmental impact as possible, and many of the drivers come from Formula 1, ensuring that the races are just as high stakes.

Co-directed by The Cove producer Fisher Stevens and Malcolm Venville, And We Go Green is a slick, commercial documentary that mainly serves as a promotion for the Formula E racing series. The film tries to drum up drama by focusing on French driver Jean-Éric Vergne, his former teammate turned rival Sam Bird, and Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr., who came of age at a time when his country was enamoured with Ayrton Senna and whose own father was a race car driver. This stuff is fine, but fairly standard in how its presented, and the film is actually at its most interesting when focusing on the technical stuff, showing the innovation behind these vehicles and how it is helping pave the way for advancements in regular electric cars and renewable energy as well.

As is pointed out in the film, the majority of traditional races are won by cars from the same few companies, where as theoretically anyone could win Formula E. Electric car racing is also an entirely different beast, becoming way more of a technical race, with computer programmers playing just as important a role as the drivers. Leonardo DiCaprio adds some star power to the film through his brief appearance as probably the most high profile spectator at the Formula E race, having been attending since the start, and the actor also serves as one of the producers. This is a pretty good documentary about how one of the dirtiest sports can be transitioned into one of the cleanest.

Public Screenings:

Sunday, September 8th – 3:00 PM at Ryerson Theatre

Tuesday, September 10th – 1:30 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Friday, September 13th – 9:45 AM at Scotiabank Theatre

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