One of the hotter tickets at VIFF is likely to be the NFB co-production Surviving Progress, by directors Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks. Based on Ronald Wright’s bestseller A Short History of Progress, the filmmakers traveled around the world in search of intelligent commentary on our evolving calamity, and the film is laced with powerfully thoughtful talking heads assessing the mother of all progress traps—our incipient perfect storm of eco-doom and societal collapse.
The movie taps people like Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, and Margaret Atwood to bring some sense to the topic, plus articulate boffins you haven’t heard of like Simon Johnson, formerly of the IMF, who says, “the bankers can’t stop themselves. It’s in their DNA, in the DNA of their organizations, to take massive risks, to pay themselves ridiculous salaries, and to collapse…” And, of course, author Wright himself. “We are running 21st century software, our knowledge, on hardware that hasn’t been upgraded for 50,000 years, and this lies at the core of many of our problems,” he says.
Surviving Progress screens on Friday (September 30) and Sunday (October 2). More details here