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Surviving Progress
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Surviving Progress More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

A very gripping documentary that opens up to much thinking.

Author: DavidTheWise33 from Canada
3 May 2012

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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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

For anyone wondering why there is not iphone5 cover in some different color

Author: Moriaty Moriaty from Croatia
31 July 2013

I read some not all that good reviews of this title, cause its simple, not enough informing, but this one is on the top of my list.

Maybe some need to hear through documentary that only few percent are the one who are controlling if they still didn't conclude that them selves.

Some of topics will be new to people who wonder why there is no other color for iphone5 or why my neighbor has better car than me...I hope that for the moment some questions will pop up in their heads.

Im now in Europe country living for over 3 decades, and even here I can feel every bit of that few percent of chosen which are controlling the foot on our heads. And what about Africa and third world countries? We are good now, have internet, watching movies, eating food from stores, driving around in cars...but what about our children? Or their? There is just too few which are brave and consistent enough to get in that fight, and thats sad. We are just lost in fog of materialism, and thats whats this documentary is about, getting out of that fog, and seeing what obstacles we have to conquer.

I really enjoyed the documentary, its eye opening, and for those who already know the story, movies, and books, still should be a piece to applaud. Its important we have more and more this kind of documentaries to get to even larger number of people.

If you don't like documentaries by default, and still live in fantasy only, try this one, maybe it will be revealing to you. And there are many more not to make you smarter, to throw that knowledge as show of, but to question you're sense of perceiving this world, civilization in whole.

its not about the phones, its about our enlightenment as species.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Doc Asks Us To Use Our Brains

Author: Larry Silverstein from United States
9 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This documentary, by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, asks us to use our brains and think "outside the box" about what progress is and whether certain types of it can be detrimental to us as humans.

It combines clips of interviews with various authors, theorists, and interested parties with on the ground images of what the interviewees are referring to. I would say the basic premise of the film is that , since the Industrial Revolution began 200 years ago, large corporations, governments, and economic theorists have been hammering away at a particular theme. This theme tells us that high levels of production and subsequent high levels of consumption must be maintained to be prosperous in this world.

Unfortunately, this has been maintained with little regard for the inevitable depletion of the world's natural resources. Poorer countries, who often are rich in certain resources but are in debt, are coerced into selling off these resources to pay their debt. Thus, the bankers, corporations and the rich get richer while the rest of us get poorer.

Much of the film cautions that we as a human species living on an interconnected planet must try and apply the "brakes" to this consumption "craziness" and start to sanely plan for our future.

I found this documentary quite interesting and it made me stop and think about what we may be doing to our planet.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The massage overcomes the pitfalls

Author: fitimh from Canada
17 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are very many documentaries of this sort, where the goal of it is to convince the viewer of the message they're trying to convey. In so doing, we get a completely one sided argument, looking more as an indoctrination video, then as a informative source. But the message it tries to convey is so important, that every effort to bring this issue to the attention of the public, is needed if we're to avert a major catastrophe.

The documentary starts by explaining how human nature is not designed to deal with the complexity of 21st century life. As the movie progresses it goes in more and more situations of how today's civilization (mainly the rich countries) is on a course to destroy our environment which may very well bring the end to our civilization.

My main point of contention lies in the fact that the situation is presented as a scenario that requires total abandonment conventional approaches and when one is presented, the filmmakers present a counter argument based on nothing but an opinion. Having a science background I tend to look for supporting and opposing information for an issue before coming to a conclusion, whereas this movie presents only one sided biased point of view. Therein lies the problem, which is inherent of today's society, that is preventing any progress in developing a more sustainable way of life. Our society is completely ignorant of the dangers we're facing today, no matter how much one tries to inform, there seems to be a glitch with the way a human brain works that's renders it incapable to respond to pessimistic scenarios. Therefore if society is not willing to even wake up to the fact we're at a crossroads, its impossible for them to change completely the way of life the film is proposing. Whereas the film is not giving any room for any other solution then changing completely our way of life, there's other solutions.

The film should have mentioned how the number of people earth could sustain, has increased where even in the 60's it was widely believed that the Earth could not sustain more then 4 billion. The very idea the movie dismissed (that of genetic engineering) has allowed for shift. Another issue I had a problem with is the issue with economics. It's true economics is not a science, but not because, as Dr. Suzuki puts it "view environmental impact as externality" but because economy is dependent on humans. Environmental concerns are constant, predictable, thus can be taken into account in a scientific sense. Human beings on the other hand, are unpredictable, reactionary, and utterly irrational, thus making any conclusions that would stand scientific inquiry impossible.

This film is important because it can raise awareness, but fails on impartiality. So if a person with an opposing point of view, I believe will dismiss the whole thing as left wing propaganda, therefore it won't change anybodies misconceptions.

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13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

very nicely reflects where do we human stand today!!!

Author: bm-hadapsarkar from Vienna
28 September 2012

All the issues are very nicely addressed with the detailed pros and cons. very thought provoking and I hope we all learn from it and start respecting the mother nature and the surroundings... once again congrats to the team for making such an effort to show us where do we stand today!!!! I hope the movie is showed to all the school and college going students to make a general awareness and are being made aware of how can they can make there commitment in the coming years. The detailed research of the contributors and there experience will surely guide us all in our way of looking towards our daily life and help make a change.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Has the "human experiment" failed? Will our species disappear soon?

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
9 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was glad to find this documentary film available on Netflix streaming movies. But in a real sense that fact itself is part of the indicator that as a species, we may have doomed ourselves by our never-ending desire for progress, ways to get more, better, faster.

The film contains the idea that the past 200 or so years has been a great "experiment", beginning with the industrial revolution. Humans have a natural curiosity and a desire for improving things that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Therefore when we began to make things better, bigger, faster, we also reduced the mortality rate via medicines and health care. As an example, today it takes three years to increase the population of the world as much as it took 13 centuries not long ago.

Common sense tells us that if we continue to increase the human population at the same or similar rate, which requires the expenditure of more and more natural resources to sustain all that, we are no longer "living off the interest" of our natural resources, but instead are "drawing down the principal", to use a financial investment analogy, and sooner or later it will all collapse.

Many experts in various fields across the globe are given time in this documentary, and no one has a simple answer. For example, controlling population, maybe even to get it down to 1/3 of what it is today, runs directly in opposition to most religious beliefs. Or getting profit-minded major corporations and financial institutions to operate for the betterment of humanity runs counter to their goals of increasing profit.

I too believe most of what is presented in this film. I had even already been looking at the issue from another perspective, namely if we continue to make more and more with fewer and fewer workers as a result of automation, while the population continues to increase, where will all the workers find jobs? It seems to me the rich will just get richer and the poor get poorer, and at some point there will be a big revolt.

Interesting film on a very difficult, but also critically important, issue. The honored physicist Steven Hawkin weighs in, he says if we can survive for another 200 years, then the human species may just be fine. He thinks we will find a way to go into space and find ways to colonize away from the Earth.

I am not sure I agree. It seems to me there will be a giant crisis within the next 200 years, accompanied by mass killings with only a fraction of the population surviving. Then, as movies and TV series' often depict, a comparatively small band of people will work together to repopulate the Earth. None of us will be around to know.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

We Are Doomed

Author: billcr12 from United States
29 September 2012

A well made documentary, showing the basic problem of a planet of over seven billion people using the limited resources available to us, Surviving Progress is informative and uses interviews and some excellent photography to deliver its well intended message. At the start, we see monkeys in a room playing with Legos, and we are told that during an experiment, a human child, when challenged with a problem solving variation will ask why, which is seen as the major difference between us and the chimp, as we are otherwise genetically very similar. Our capacity for survival is what makes us unique. A segment dealing with the destruction of the rain forest is disheartening, as some environmental officers struggle in vain against workers just trying to make a living. Economists and scientists explain that we cannot continue to demand more and more modern conveniences without destroying the Earth. It is a simple and basic story, and it looks as if we are already past the point of no return; oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Really basic introduction about human impact on the environment.

Author: carbuff
11 May 2015

If you are up on the literature about sustainability, human footprints, and the impact of human resource use on the environment, then you won't find any new information at all in this slow-moving introduction to these problems.

This program could easily be condensed down to 60 minutes, for the sparse amount of information in it. If you want an introduction, or you want to introduce somebody else, to the impact that modern human lifestyles are having on the world around us and some of the root causes, then this will do fine.

It would also do well for opening a discussion among grade school and high school students especially, and probably also for college students. It's really basic though, and I wish I hadn't wasted the time.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Illustrates modern 3rd world resource raiding

Author: Harvest McCampbell from United States
19 July 2014

This film clearly offers an education on how colonialism and imperialism is now accomplished in the modern world, often without our even having any idea it is going on. In the bad old days, the resources of the third world were raided with the old tried and true tools of guns and germs. However, this proved too politically inexpedient in a world were such actions could not remain hidden.

Economic policies now bring about the same ends; expanding poverty and environmental degradation in third world countries while continuing to enriching the planets elite. The movie clearly illustrates the systems in play that allow this to be repeated over and over all over the globe.

As the marginal beneficiaries of this system, we have to ask ourselves, can it continue, is it sustainable, will there be a price to pay? Watch the movie! It is definitely food for thought.

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9 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

the people that made this are no better

Author: vailsy from United Kingdom
28 February 2013

I found the final words in this documentary to be quite haunting.. where the speaker talks of 'the continuation' of humanity with a kind of glazed look in his eyes. If we do A, B and C then WE can survive

When you boil it down and get to the essence, this is the problem in it's purist form. The likes of Stephen Hawkins also disappointingly express this argument.. we need to get to other planets if we are to maintain our survival. Isn't that point of view precisely what got us where we are? Did explorers not look out to sea thinking exactly the same thing? Going out and destroying multiple planets is the answer..

So the super brains are just as disappointing to me as the bankers who they predictably criticize throughout for everything.. we have lots of artistic images of suited guys with briefcases drowning under lily pads, Chinese poor boys made good etc etc and the obvious comparisons to the Roman Empire and the Mayan's, even though our present day situation is infinitely different

We are also treated to lots of middle class environmentalists, some of whom tried sustainable living (for a year).. no doubt in their expensive New York apartments which they already bought and paid for. They try sustainable living but are already sitting pretty, yet they are supposed to be role models for the rest of us. They are so humble that they can even compare themselves to apes and in doing so are thoroughly patronizing in my view.. to apes that is

Just because you are self aware does not mean that you are not part of the problem. This documentary offers no practical solutions about how we can go about making this world a better place to live in for future life living on it... All species of life, not just humans

This documentary reaffirmed to me that people on the right and the left are both the enemy.. the actively and passively greedy. The people that consume and the people that just sit there and observe, write books and make documentaries about it

I saw just one person who is part of an environmental police force in Brazil that is actively out there actually trying to make a difference, something that needs to be done on a much wider scale. Otherwise I saw nothing here of interest

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