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What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire (2007)

| Documentary


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Credited cast:
Hannah Bennett Hannah Bennett ... Herself
Thomas Berry Thomas Berry ... Himself
William R. Catton William R. Catton ... Himself
Gerald Cecil Gerald Cecil ... Himself
Douglas Crawford-Brown Douglas Crawford-Brown ... Himself
John Delafield John Delafield ... Himself
Sally Erickson Sally Erickson ... Herself
Lyle Estill Lyle Estill ... Himself
Tom Grizzle Tom Grizzle ... Himself
Richard Heinberg Richard Heinberg ... Himself
Laurel Hopper Laurel Hopper ... Herself
Barbara Janeway Barbara Janeway ... Herself
Derrick Jensen Derrick Jensen ... Himself
Jerry Mander Jerry Mander ... Himself
Tony Mayer Tony Mayer ... Himself


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A middle-class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American lifestyle.










Box Office


$65,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

VisionQuest Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (black & white archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Narrator: All of this, all of this is wrapped tightly inside a culture of denials and lies and absurdities so complex and so powerful that we can barely see through the smog.
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Let's Build a Boat
Written by Brian Hall
Performed by Brian Hall
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User Reviews

The Most Important Film of Our Time
9 April 2010 | by leycecSee all my reviews

Conceivably, WaWtG:LatEoE (or, "whatgulateoe") is the most important film of our time. As other reviewers comment, it is not necessarily the most well-crafted film. It isn't. The editing is flawed; the pacing, disjoint.

What it is, however, is the most ruthlessly honest film ever put to cinematography. From the earnest poetically hushed script-writing and narrator delivery to the relentless, factual interviews with scientific luminaries, authors, and journalists, WaWtG:LatEoE weaves the sordid story of... collapse. From the weft of everyday intuition and despondency, it incrementally and with examined force unravels the mass predicaments of industrial civilization. In no order, these are:

* Peak oil. Global oil production peaked at 74.87 mbpd (million barrels of oil per day) on July 11th, 2008 - our so-called "Peak Oil Day," in hindsight.

* Climate change. (I don't believe we need to discuss this one...)

* Biodiversity loss. Anthropogenic species extiction is roughly 10,000 times the background rate, at an estimated 100 species per day. By contrast, the sum number of distinct species on Earth is estimated at only 10,000,000 species. Do the math.

* Human overpopulation. The human population is currently growing at 94,000,000 humans annually. Human population growth has obeyed an exponential curve for the past 13,000 years: the so-called "Holecene." Unfortunately for the human population, the Earth is a finite planet.

* Economic depression. At the tail end of quarter one of 2010, gross sovereign debt of the United States of America is an estimated 87.3% of GDP. If you think this is a sustainable trajectory, I have a Nigerian banker who would like to speak with you.

In sum, the prognosis is bleak. If the 20th century was the Age of Exuberance, the 21st century will, with all likelihood, be the Age of Consequences. And the unpaid debt on those consequences is coming due.

Humbly yours, Cecil Curry [ http://raiazome.com ]

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