"Who Killed The Electric Car?" movie review

The documentary film on GM's controversial electric vehicle program, "Who Killed The Electric Car?" makes it to more theaters this week. We've written a lot about the film's contents – including an interview with Chelsea Sexton, who plays a major role in the story the movie tells – but what about the movie itself? I've seen it, and here's a brief review.
The basic structure of the film is that the death of GM's EV1 was a murder, and the film acts as a Jessica Fletcher type investigating all the suspects, from automobile manufacturers to consumers to the oil industry. This style makes the already dramatic tale more interesting, but doesn't help come to any conclusions since director Chris Paine assigns a lot of blame by the end of the film.

One of the best parts of the film is the confrontational scene where a group of protestors – well, it's a bit strange to call them protestors but they're certainly more than just customers, they're, um, the world's biggest EV1 fans – take a stand outside a parking lot where a bunch of EV1s are being held for mysterious reasons. At the beginning, the group just keeps watch and tries to figure out what's going on, then they stage clever events to get the media's attention, and finally some of the fans need to be taken away in police cars when the EV1s are schlepped off to the desert. It's not just that the film treats these activists with respect, it's that it takes the time to show you why they're doing what they're doing. This is uncommon in films or TV shows today, and Paine deserves praise for this.
Overall, "Who Killed The Electric Car?" is a good tale. It tells an interesting story, and I was left with a surprisingly pleased feeling after watching the film. The scenes where perfectly good EV1s are crushed into dust are disturbing, but seeing how passionate people can be about doing right by the environment is uplifting.

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