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Two Good Big-Picture Docs

Posted on October 17, 2012 by ari

This week I’ve watched two good documentaries about the big picture – where we’re headed right now. One of them focuses on debt, the other on technological “progress” run amok. Both are well worth a watch (and are available on instant play, on Netflix). And both are based on books, which I imagine are also good and worth a read.

1. Surviving Progress, featuring Stephen Hawking, David Suzuki, Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, Colin Beavan, Simon Johnson, and J. Craig Venter

This bracing documentary considers whether human “progress” stemming from the Industrial Age could be paving the way for civilization’s collapse. The film asks a range of thinkers whether the modern world might be headed for a “progress trap.”

2. Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, featuring Margaret Atwood and Raj Patel

Drawing from Margaret Atwood’s book, documentarian Jennifer Baichwal examines the role of debt throughout human history. The film holds religion, politics, literature and sociology up to the light, finding every aspect of culture touched by debt.

Related posts:

  1. 7 Documentaries I’ve been loving
  2. Some good books: DIY media labs and culture, environmental sci fi, the origins of aggression, and tantric buddhism
  3. Buckminster, you make my life so much Fuller!
  4. Some really good books for activists
  5. Built to last: A pretty good video about New Urbanism

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