Wiebo's War latest NFB offering

The University Library presents Wiebo's War, the latest screening of the library's NFB Film Club series, Wednesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. in room L1060.

Wiebo Ludwig, who died recently of esophageal cancer, was a controversial figure in Alberta. The fundamentalist Christian minister and patriarch of a self-sufficient communal farm in northwestern Alberta has been labelled an eco-warrior and a terrorist for his resistance against the oil and gas industry that has taken over the land in that region.

There were numerous poisonous gas leaks that the Ludwig clan believe caused illness, deaths and miscarriages amongst their family and their livestock. Their complaints went unresolved by the industry and the government, and so began their long struggle against the oil and gas companies in the area.

In 2001 Ludwig was convicted of charges related to the bombing of an oil and gas installation, and he was suspected of involvement in later pipeline bombings.

The 93-minute documentary, Wiebo's War, begins with filmmaker David York trying to convince the family to allow him to document their lives and their story in spite of his atheism. Apparently he won them over, because they allowed he and his film crew to live with them on their compound for up to two weeks at a time over a two-year period. The film goes on to present an inside view of the family's life on the communal farm, their religious faith and their battle against the oil and gas industry.

"A rude guest, believe me," says Ludwig of the gas company invading his family's land.

The animated short film, A Prairie Story, by Calgary director Anne Koizumi, will precede the screening of Wiebo's War.