Not many people have a vision wide enough to encompass the entire auto industry. Even while the Big Three are bouncing back, a worldwide recession and a government bailout have left that vision as muddled as ever. For the people of Michigan — a state whose identity and livelihood are welded to the Motor City — such uncertainty could shake the confidence one has in the future.

With just a quick glance at the posters and displays outside the screening of “Revenge of the Electric Car” — which is showing at the Michigan through Thursday — it becomes evident that writer-director Chris Paine stands among those he chronicles, individuals with the foresight to plan for a sustainable future. Not only did his first film, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” reveal and clarify the forces that caused the electric car to fail, but it also documented the directions the auto industry might take. It was an ambitious film with simple roots.

“In 1996, I leased an electric car (the EV1) from General Motors, and it changed my thinking about cars,” Paine said in an interview with The Michigan Daily.

After driving that car for five years, its production was discontinued and he wondered why.

“I wanted to make a film about why electric cars were such a great technology,” Paine said. “Along the way we sort of stumbled into this bigger story of why the car was stopped.”

But following the release of “Who Killed,” there seemed to be a revolution: The electric car was revived.

“GM went bankrupt and the auto industry was reduced to bailouts, and at one point, I think even a CEO of a car company went to Washington D.C. driving in an electric car,” he recalled. “That was quite a turnaround.”

Change was finally happening, and thus “Revenge” was born. Whereas the first film was concerned with what was happening inside the industry, Pain explains that “Revenge” is “about character and overcoming challenges … how the inside changes.”

In other words, this film chronicles the individuals who will in effect govern the future of the auto industry, and by extension, the future of Michigan. Paine believes that the hub of 21st century auto technology innovation — and future jobs — could be located in Michigan. But this story isn’t over.

“The electric car touches on so many issues, if you wanted to do a film on this today, it’d be like six hours,” Paine said, as if to acknowledge where “Who Killed” and “Revenge” might fall short. But his films are meant to inspire interest in the topic, not postulate on every facet the industry and its future.

“It was better to get people to try these things and have the experience for themselves (rather) than try to make a big diatribe about why the government messed up,” he said.

So will Paine dive back into the electric car story?

“If I find another angel investor that wants to support another project, then I might do another one,” he said.

Then, with a smile, he added, “But there will be many more stories, whether they’re written by people like you or other filmmakers or television people. The electric car story is just starting.”

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