Surviving Progress | Chicago Reader

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86 minutes

A wide variety of thinkers—naturalist Jane Goodall, novelist Margaret Atwood, economist Michael Hudson, energy specialist Vaclav Smil, psychologist Gary Marcus, geneticist Craig Venter, environmental activist Marina Silva, sustainable living proponent Colin Beavan—converge in this documentary to consider the threat posed to mankind by the ever-accelerating pace of technology and wealth accumulation. The extended opening shot shows a pair of apes under observation at a research facility, and the sequence turns out to be highly appropriate given one scholar's assertion that our collective intellect has far outpaced our behavioral development. Directors Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, adapting a book by Ronald Wright, argue so persuasively that the human race is spinning out of control that the concluding gesture of hope and optimism, now customary in such doomsday docs, barely registers.

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