MOTHERLOAD “is a crowdsourced documentary in which the cargo bicycle becomes a vehicle for exploring parenthood in this digital age of climate change.” I saw the full-length film recently at the ReFrame Film Festival in Peterborough and I was blown away. There’s a kind of magic when a talented filmmaker tackles the subjects they are most passionate about and, as the title might suggest, for Liz canning, that would be motherhood in the modern age and cargo bikes.
In the end the film is about much more than that and that’s probably a big reason Canning decided to make two trailers. The first emphasizes the role cargo bikes took in liberating her and her family, just as bikes historically did for 19th century women, a point the film makes admirably. The second trailer, this one, emphasizes the way that impact is felt on the larger societal level.
By the end of the film, I was surprised to realize just how many men she chose to feature in a film about women, motherhood and cargo bikes. That probably had something to do with the fact that men had a lot to do with the early days of the cargo bike in North America but she weaves her story so easily between the men, the women, and the children that make up the cargo bike revolution that you understand the real reason is: in this tribe, we’re all equal and we’re all in it together.