Film Review: What a Way To Go
For years now I have studied the problems we face in the next decade; peak oil, population growth, ecological die-off, climate change and economic collapse. I have filled many internet boards arguing with other collapse junkies over whether or not a single movie could explain it all in just two hours. While visiting Pennsylvania I had the luxury of spending some time with Jason and Guili from Anthropik. We watched the recently released film What a Way To Go: Life At The End Of Empire, and at long last a movie exists that tells it all, and more, in just two hours.
Remember a time when Michael Moore was just a fat nobody from Flint, trying to get to Roger Smith of GM Motors to ask him why he fired so many people? In What a Way, writer/director Timothy Bennett, takes us back to that feeling of the common man trying to make sense of his world. Like Moore’s first film, What a Way does not have some fancy big budget, no flashy graphics, no crazy camera angles. Just a curious, middle class American dad wandering around with his video camera and piecing together the crisis we all face in the coming years; total collapse of the world as we know it.
The biggest disappointment I had from the stream of movies covering these topics (i.e. An Inconvenient Truth, The End of Suburbia, Zeitgeist, etc) came from them not scaring people enough. None of them tell the truth, all of them tell us we can fix the system by buying back into it. In the end, Al Gore says we can save the earth by buying more garbage (never mind all the scientists who laugh, â€œBuy light bulbs?â€) None of these films tell us that the system cannot and will not, no matter what we do, work. These films tell us we can simply rearrange the chairs on the deck of the titanic.
I can’t help but hold up this low-budget dose of reality next to Moore’s latest film Sicko and think, “Who the hell cares about health care, when the whole world wavers on the brink of meltdown!?!” Problems like universal health care and workers rights, though important, appear rather trivial when placed next to… well, the apocalypse. It seems Michael Moore may have lost his touch, or perhaps he never had the nerve or desire to step fully into the reality of our situation. Thank our lucky stars that Bennett has the passion to and the talent to do what all those internet chats rooms called impossible. In short, Timothy Bennett feels like the newer, cooler Michael Moore.
The film contains a powerful arsenal of interviewees, from top writers and experts on the economic collapse, ecological collapse, peak oil and everything else collapse; Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, Richard Heinburg, Ran Prieur, Michael Ruppert, and many more. Never before have I seen all of those familiar faces craft-fully edited as such to transmit their most poignant critiques of civilization in such a short amount of time.
As I sat watching the film in awe, stuffing handfuls popcorn in my mouth I couldnâ€™t stop smiling at the realization that though none of this information was new to me, to someone with no understanding of these problems, someone who has stayed in denial thanks to Al Gore’s inconvenient lullaby and other green-washing media, this movie will no doubt cause them to curl up into a ball in the corner and sob. It may seem sadistic to so gleefully watch such a film, but for someone who has felt alone with their understanding of collapse, this movie seems a blessing; “Now I’ve got a movie to show Mom why I do what I do!” We can only hope that once they wipe those tears away, they will feel ready to find a way out of this mess.
You can now purchase this film from their website, and I recommend you do. I recommend you show it to your beloved. I recommend you do it as soon as you can. The sooner we stop the denial and hear the facts, the sooner we can make decisions on how to deal with the current and coming crisis. I used to think surviving the collapse looked impossible. But like this movie, which also seemed impossible, a solution awaits us. Let’s seek that solution together.
Check out the films trailer below:
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