Last week was a little disappointing on the movie front, having traveled downtown to catch two limited run movies and finding both a little lacking.
Surviving Progress is a new documentary playing at the Cumberland Theatre. The ad mentions contributors such as David Suzuki, Stephen Hawking and Jane Goodall, but their contributions are minor, to say the least. Hawking’s voice makes an appearance which doesn’t last 15 seconds. The others enjoy less than two minutes each, if that.
The documentary examines the ways that our society is overexending itself and the dangers we may face as a result. There is not very much new material in the film and it is mostly a rehash of the info we’ve been hearing for some time now. It’s not a bad film, just not one that breaks much new ground. The ads claim that it compares our impending fate to that experienced by civilizations of the past. That would have been a good, original slant, but it is dealt with in too short a period of time within the film. The information that it presents is important and it is good (as I said in the previous post) to get that message out, but it adds little but volume to the messages that are already out there.
I would give this film a B– or even a C+. It comes across as a TV show that you might see on CBC (at least until the potential new owners gut it), which makes sense as it is an NFB production. (Nothing against NFB. They’ve done some remarkable stuff. Just not this time.)