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Ruppert does push things too far but this film is still engaging as challenging food for thought
I had never heard of Michael Ruppert before watching this documentary and, being honest, it is likely that I will never hear of him again but it is more than likely that the future may make me hark back to the basic points that he makes in this film. Collapse is basically an interview with Ruppert where he presents his views on a world that is unsustainable and unwilling to really make the hard decisions and face the stark reality of the situation that perhaps could help us cope when the systems and world that we accept live in now starts to collapse. Taking the reliance on oil as his starting point, Ruppert takes us through a world where time is running out and that the economic collapse that he predicted will only the first of many.
Essentially what this film does is the equivalent of getting stuck at a bus stop listening to a guy who is convinced that the world is going to come to an end and that "they" are just keeping us in the dark for some reason. I don't mean this as negatively as it sounds but it is fair to say that this film doesn't hide the fact that at times Ruppert gets carried away with himself, doesn't always cope well with having the totally open stage that he has in the interview, gets passionate, is obsessive and does happen to make statements that (out of context) come off as paranoid and doomsday in nature. It is also fair to say that, unless you already share his mindset, that there will be several times during the film where he goes further than you will be willing to go or says things that either don't make sense, seem like a stretch or that you just plain disagree with.
Mostly the film lets him talk so it is only fair that these moments are left in the film because it does let us see that, being frank, Ruppert is obsessive and that perhaps some of what he says is exaggerated and extreme but this is not to say that he is 100% wrong. So while I personally don't agree with him on the imminent nature of the collapse of the oil reserves (or that they are significantly smaller than "they" are telling us), one cannot really argue that from plastics to fuel, we really have put all our eggs into the "oil" basket and that supplies are simply not infinite. Likewise, because all of our eggs are in one place, moving them may well be possible in small numbers but if we suddenly have no basket – we're going to have a load of broken eggs. At this level the film is engaging and provides plenty to think about and I think that Ruppert is at his best when he is talking generally because his basic points are hard to argue; it is only when he gets into specifics or gets tied up in details that he begins to say "they" too often or get a bit more emotional.
These moments hurt the film by hurting him, although in fairness since the documentary is technically about him, then it is all part of the film and is a good bit of balance. So yes, Collapse will lose you at some point but it will also engage you at many more; it isn't the most factual of documentaries nor is it the best in terms of structure but I found it mostly very engaging and it sent me onto news sites and opinion sites on the internet to read up on some of the less "opinion" related "facts" that it Ruppert presents. Worth seeing for its faults because it is engaging and provides much to think about, even if your conclusions may not lie as far out there as Ruppert's.
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