The Crisis of Civilization, due to premiere [in London] tomorrow, is a documentary film that is remarkably pleasant to watch considering its subject mattert: the looming destruction of civilisation as we know it.The film looks into how “global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system.”Over less than 80 minutes of running time, Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, the principal narrator of the film – and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It – draws a compelling portrait of the emerging economical, political and environmental trends that are likely to shape our common future over the next few decades.His thesis is devastating in its simplicity: unless structural changes are introduced to the way we run our world, we won’t make it past this century, possibly not even the halfway mark.
That sure sounds like a fun evening at the cineplex, doesn't it? Nothing quite like a cheery tour of the end of civilization, eh? Here's what Grist has to say:
The new documentary The Crisis of Civilization is the most user-friendly exploration of imminent doom you’ll ever see. Through interviews, found footage, and animation, the film actually manages to make the unwinding of our conventional, fossil-fueled, more-is-more industrial civilization accessible. And importantly, it pays just as much attention to solutions as to problems.
Nafeez Ahmed, the documentary’s narrator, whom I've interviewed in the past, is a professor of international relations and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It. He’s also smart as hell, knowledgeable on a broad scale, and a master of synthesizing the implications of climate change and peak energy for terrorism, national security, and our increasingly fragile world food supply. In other words, he’s the sort of academic we ignore at our peril.
So how can you ignore that? More importantly, how can you actually go see the film - if you're not in London this week to catch the free premiere screenings? Try to arrange a local screening yourself - as I'm going to try to do on campus, and locally through Fresno Filmworks, perhaps as part of their next festival.
In the meantime, here's another clip about the movie: