Power Trip

Power Trip is a documentary film by director Paul Devlin that describes the electricity crisis in the country of Georgia several years after the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1999, Georgia's government sold the electric utility company Telasi to AES Corporation, a multinational company headquartered in Virginia. The film follows several AES-Telasi employees as the company tries to turn a profit and ensure that power is consistently available to customers in the face of widespread corruption and failure to pay electricity bills by both commercial and residential customers. According to AES-Telasi staff, 90% of customers were not paying for electricity when the company took over, partly because salaries were extremely low and partly because during the Soviet era, the state had provided free electricity. The film shows many shocking pictures of illegal wiring that people rigged up to steal electricity from buildings with power, creating serious safety hazards and straining the power grid. Government corruption ensured that some companies received electricity even if they did not pay for it for years. The film looks at the chaos and riots that occurred in Tbilisi after AES-Telasi started cutting off electricity to customers with unpaid bills. The film exposes corruption in the highest levels of government as well as the plight of the Georgian people as they struggle for power. The film ends by noting that AES Corporation, having spent many tens of millions of dollars yet with profitability nowhere in sight, sold Telasi to a Russian company.


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    contentLocation Tbilisi
    director Paul Devlin
    musicBy Christopher S. Parker
    producer Claire Missanelli Valery Odikadze
    theme documentary