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Technological advancement, economic development, population increase - are they signs of a thriving society? Or too much of a good thing? Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, this provocative documentary explores the concept of progress in our modern world, guiding us through the major "progress traps" facing our civilization in the arenas of technology, economics, consumption, and the environment.
Featuring powerful arguments from such visionaries as Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood and Stephen Hawking, this enlightening and visually spectacular film invites us to contemplate the progress traps that destroyed past civilizations and that lie treacherously embedded in our own.
A who's-who of great thinkers are riveting as they walk us through the question of whether we will or can survive progress. --Ernest Hardy, Seattle Weekly
CRITIC'S CHOICE. EXCELLENT! Succinct and entertaining. Weaves together a vast assortment of materials as well as information, to highly watchable results. Do the earth a favor: see this movie, and drag a skeptic you know along. --Dennis Harvey, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Top Customer Reviews
> That the human brain has not evolved much for the last 50,000 years, and as a result human beings still think in terms of short term needs fulfillment
> That the unending drive toward "progress" can be self-defeating in the end
> The danger posed from further depleting the "capitol" reserves provided by nature (water, air, natural resources, etc.)
> How debt grows more rapidly than people can pay, and how the historical policy of cancelling a nation's debt when it becomes impossible to repay has been circumvented... and the fallout from forcing debt repayment
> The perennial trend of allowing wealth to be concentrated into too few hands, and how this phenomenon exists today in a highly leveraged manner
> How Wall Street used its wealth to shape government regulations to gain more wealth, which in turn was used to further shape policy and create additional wealth... ad infinitum... until the financial system crashes under its own weight.
> How indigenous peoples are getting trapped in unsustainable economies.
> How the bankers are systematically converting the natural resources of countries into personal profit.Read more ›
A number of familiar figures populate "Surviving Progress" with commentary from notable names such as Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, and Margaret Atwood. It's interesting to assess the path we, as humans, are on and where that road seems to be leading. It's a bleak portrait, to be sure, but one that serves as a call to action. We don't always take the opportunity to course correct when we have it, this film and its experts suggest that we might need to sooner rather than later. It's an important message presented in a stylish package. "Surviving Progress" is exceedingly well constructed and has a visual flair to make its message even more dynamic.
But as much as I want to rave unequivocally about the film, it may be a little too broad for its own good. With so many diverse topics, the movie feels slightly unfocused.Read more ›
I wish that everyone in the world could see this movie, and totally understand what rampant consumerism and greed is doing to our planet, then maybe we could force the wall street bankers and economists to change the way we value, but like Vaclav Smil said, what do we do?
"I’m inoculated against any doctrinaire, grand solutions, saying, you know: this is the pattern, this is the master, this is the paradigm which we have to follow..."
-Vaclav Smil global energy expert
How can we reach people and let them know about what WILL happen if things continue as they are now? I have no clue. All I can do is live life here on earth in the most sustainable way possible, I owe it to the future, even though I have no children and hence no real stake in the future, but just for man kind's sake and the sake of all the life here on earth as we know it.
"I read scrawled on a wall somewhere that every time history repeats itself, the price goes up."
– Ronald Wright
Hopefully we can all do something to change the way things are, before the price becomes too high.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would not have bought it if I had known that this was just another senseless attack against the successful. Read morePublished 18 hours ago by jadams
Surviving Progress National Film Board of Canada 2011 unrated DVD
This film combines a lot of familiar elements—familiar to anyone who follows environmental movements. Read more
The book the movie is based upon is a must read, the movie is for people that don't read much and it hits all the salient points. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Scott Fairbairn
Finally a documentary that shows us as humans where we stand, and where we are headed if we keep doing the same things we've done during the past few decades. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Antonio Pizzuto Mcgee
I couldn't get through this documentary, it was so poor presented! It did not seem organized--one minute we are watching chimps work with blocks, and the next we are looking at... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dante
Beautiful cinematography and a movie which I truly enjoyed watching. This is one of the better documentaries from the past few years.Published on January 9, 2014 by Bar Taker
With Margaret Atwood, Jane Goodall, Stephen Hawking, Michael Hudson, Craig Venter and Robert Wright, and released by First Run Features. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Zarathustra