New York Times - 12/10/2003
"...[A] superbly balanced and organized documentary..."
Set in Tbilisi, Georgia in the former Soviet Union, POWER TRIP looks at the privatization of electricity as managed by an American company called AES. The head of the company, Piers Lewis, tries to introduce the concept of paying for power to people in massive flux learning to live in a rapidly changing society. Directed by Paul Devlin, the incredibly complex web of problems faced by AES is clearly outlined, beginning with the lowest common denominator--the people--and building up to major political, corporate, and financial problems that are the real reason Tblisi's power dilemma is so daunting. An upbeat soundtrack of local music keeps the mood of the film perky as a large amount of information is provided through various methods of narration. Tours of power facilities show how citizens have vandalized the wires, attaching their own flimsy lines in dangerous configurations so they can pipe power into their homes for free. Meanwhile, television ads sponsored by AES warn of the danger of electrocution. Interviewees range from struggling people protesting their power bills in the streets to major corporate moguls who are hogging power for industrial use. A fascinating film punctuated by commentary from the charismatic and dedicated Piers, POWER TRIP paints a picture of a chaotic 21st century situation with no obvious solution.