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The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (2004)

Not Rated | | Documentary, War | 5 May 2004 (Canada)
1:43 | Trailer
The modern suburbs have ultimately become an unsustainable way of living. They were originally developed in an era of cheap oil, when the automobile became the center of the way people ... See full summary »


Gregory Greene


Gregory Greene
2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Barrie Zwicker Barrie Zwicker ... Himself - Host
James Howard Kunstler James Howard Kunstler ... Himself
Peter Calthorpe Peter Calthorpe ... Himself
Michael Klare Michael Klare ... Himself
Richard Heinberg Richard Heinberg ... Himself
Matthew Simmons Matthew Simmons ... Himself
Michael Ruppert Michael Ruppert ... Himself (as Michael C. Ruppert)
Julian Darley Julian Darley ... Himself
Colin Campbell Colin Campbell ... Himself
Steve Andrews Steve Andrews ... Himself
Ali Samsam Bakhtiari Ali Samsam Bakhtiari ... Himself
Kenneth Deffeyes Kenneth Deffeyes ... Himself


The modern suburbs have ultimately become an unsustainable way of living. They were originally developed in an era of cheap oil, when the automobile became the center of the way people lived and an era when people wanted to escape the inner city to a more pastoral or rural way of life. However the suburbs quickly evolved into a merely a place to live that had neither the benefits of rural or urban life, and where one was reliant on an automobile both to travel elsewhere and even travel within the neighborhood. The suburbs are not only dependent upon cheap energy, but also reliable energy. The reliability of energy is becoming less so as demonstrated by the multi-day blackout of the North American Eastern Seaboard starting on August 14, 2003. Part of the problem of getting out of the suburban mentality is that a generation has grown up believing it to be a normal way of life, and a life of entitlement, which they will not give up without a fight. But many developers and planners and ... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

suburb | energy | oil | automobile | fuel | See All (32) »


We're literally stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV without a fill-up


Documentary | War


Not Rated



Canada | USA | France



Release Date:

5 May 2004 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The End of Suburbia See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »


Box Office


$60,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The documentary was the inspiration for the video for "Them KIds" by musician Sam Roberts. See more »


James Howard Kunstler: Now we're stuck up a cul-de-sac in a cement SUV with an empty gas tank.
See more »


Features In the Suburbs (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

If you want a scholarly discussion, stay away.
11 October 2005 | by c_huggard01See all my reviews

I was recommended this movie by my professor in an Intro to Urbanism class at a Canadian university. I was expecting a fair and balanced analysis of why suburbia is going to end, voiced by professional planners, theorists, and scholars. What I got was a bunch of anti-oil, doom-saying, fear-mongering talking heads who, as far as I could tell, had no association with any universities, government organizations, or think-tanks. The most professional speaker involved was a consultant for the oil companies. Each person featured in the film either had a book to sell on the subject of anti-oil or otherwise had an interest in the field.

That said, I find this film more in line of those by Michael Moore and less of actual documentaries. Fair and balanced this was not. Now I do enjoy Moore's films, but calling them "American History" is a bit out of line, the same way this film stretched it's educational worth. The amount of fear-mongering and doom-saying involved was enough to seriously anger me at the film. I was severely upset at how low these pundits stooped to get an emotional reaction.

And they barely made you feel any better about the future. Between a depression we will never escape to visions of a oil-depleted Holocaust they really didn't give the viewer any hope about the alternatives. Personally I feel that rising oil prices will make environmentally progressive energy sources look more appealing to the energy companies, which is a very good thing. Needless to say this film didn't affirm my positive views of the future.

So, if you want an emotionally charged, propaganda-esq film filled with "holier than thou" individuals who probably also believe JFK was killed by aliens, this may be for you. But if you want a serious, educational film about the how's and why's of suburbia's eventual decline, stay away. Needless to say this film pushed my buttons, and not in the ways I wanted.

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