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Surviving Progress (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 23 March 2013 (Japan)
2:04 | Trailer
Humanity's ascent is often measured by the speed of progress. But what if progress is actually spiraling us downwards, towards collapse? Ronald Wright, whose best-seller, A Short History Of... See full summary »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Wright ...
Himself - Author, A Short History of Progress
Mark Levine ...
Himself - Group Leader, China Energy Group
Robert Wright ...
Himself - Author, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny
Marina Silva ...
Herself - Former Minister of the Environment, Brazil
Kambale Musavuli ...
Himself - Friends of the Congo
Vaclav Smil ...
Himself - Population Scientist & Author, Global Catastrophies and Trends
Colin Beavan ...
Himself - Engineer & Author
Michael Hudson ...
Himself - Economic Historian & Former Wall Street Economist
Herself - Primatologist
Ming Chen ...
Himself - Self Driving Club Tour Guide
Changnian Chen ...
Himself - Professor & Chen Ming's Father
J. Craig Venter ...
Himself - Biologist & CEO Synthetic Genomics
Raquel Taitson-Queiroz ...
Herself - Environmental Police Officer, IBAMA
Gary Marcus ...
Himself - Cognitive Psychologist & Author, The Birth of the Mind
Daniel Povinelli ...
Himself - Behavioral Scientist


Humanity's ascent is often measured by the speed of progress. But what if progress is actually spiraling us downwards, towards collapse? Ronald Wright, whose best-seller, A Short History Of Progress inspired SURVIVING PROGRESS, shows how past civilizations were destroyed by "progress traps" - alluring technologies and belief systems that serve immediate needs, but ransom the future. As pressure on the world's resources accelerates and financial elites bankrupt nations, can our globally-entwined civilization escape a final, catastrophic progress trap? With potent images and illuminating insights from thinkers who have probed our genes, our brains, and our social behaviour, this requiem to progress-as-usual also poses a challenge: to prove that making apes smarter isn't an evolutionary dead-end. Written by Producers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up




Not Rated





Release Date:

23 March 2013 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Survivre au progrès  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,161 (USA) (6 April 2012)


$47,139 (USA) (22 June 2012)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

A very gripping documentary that opens up to much thinking.
3 May 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was lucky enough to attend a screening at my local university with the director of this documentary, it is a fascinating little piece about the social and economical dynamics of the present day compared to ancient mighty civilizations that have fallen. It features appearances by many notable speakers including Jane Goodall, David Suzuki and Stephen Hawking.

It's a fascinating study of where we stand now and where we are heading.It touches upon many recent topics as well, which might date it slightly, but otherwise, it's a great viewing experience.

I definitely recommend this documentary, it will lead you to question today's society and provide much food for thought.

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