Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, who have based their new documentary SURVIVING PROGRESS on the best-selling book A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright.
The Island President; next month we'll have Last Call at the Oasis.) I would say that this is a good thing, were I to see but one iota, even a tiny increment, of progress (there's that word again) along the road to survival. But I do not. Do you? Instead I simply see more movies, all of which in a sense are telling us the same thing, though each tends to have its own hook on which to hang the thesis: "Do something, for Christ's sake -- before it's too late!"
Maldive Islands have been swallowed up and any drinking water remaining -- pure or impure -- costs more than we can afford, Republicans and Fundamentalist Christians will still be screaming about Intelligent Design and the falsity of global warming, while the octopus-like grasp of international corporations will by then exert near-complete control. Until then, however, we will have these enviromental docs to remind us of what is happening. Surviving Progress does this by beginning with our friend and neighbor, the chimp (below) trying out a rigged experiment and of course falling short. A human could and would finally figure out what was going on because, as one scientist explains, "Humans ask why? Apes do not."
Jane Goodall and Margaret Atwood, Stephen Hawking and David Suzuki, and from geneticists, energy experts, students, professors, activists, scientists, psychologists, economists and more. We learn about economics and the dismal record of the IMF in the third world. (As one gentleman from the Congo tells us: "What is interesting is that all the money plundered from all the international debts is found in Western banks.") Perhaps the most interesting thing about this documentary is how the filmmakers connect the dots, allowing us to see how the players are all acting on each other: the economy, the environment, corporate and international greed.
Martin Scorsese as one of its executive producers -- will make a fine start. If you have seen your share of these docs, well, one more reminder might not be amiss. The film, 86 minutes from First Run Features, opens this Friday, April 6, in New York City at the Cinema Village. For upcoming playdates with cities and theaters, click here.