By Monique A. Williams | Shadow and Act April 24, 2014 at 1:49PM
What is progress? Is it a good thing? Does making more machines equal progress? These are the questions Surviving Progress aims to answer. They could have used a bazooka and still would have missed the bullseye.
It says much about how the documentary is framed that these are the questions posed. They are not clear on what "progress" means and are not clear on explaining it.
If your thesis begins with erroneous information that the audience completely disagrees with, you cannot win them over successfully.
This film indicates that we are like our ancestors in the ice age, our primitive hunter-gatherers of the cave man days, that we come from chimps, and that civilization started some 5-6000 years ago. The filmmakers say that we have 21st century software but our hardware hasn't been upgraded in 50,000 years. Clearly, they discount the contributions of Kemet and Kush, so I tried to keep an open mind, but knew the perspective was one I would have difficulty seeing.
With beautiful visuals and delightful animation, this is, in many parts, a visually stimulating documentary. Unfortunately, the interviews are boring and the editing is all over the place.
Is this a documentary about the evils of capitalism and pro-socialism? Is this a film about the evil western influence in politics? Is this a film about the benefits of depopulation or the efforts to feed more people? Is this a film about colonialism and industrialization? Cancelling debt and economics? Living in nature or moving on without it? Space exploration? Bioengineering? Oil? Plastic? Saving the ozone? Saving the amazon? Saving the Congolese? It is about all of this and more, so it is about absolutely nothing.
This film had no real direction, no definite motivation. It says we should realize that this "progress" hasn't worked and should basically start over. What? Do they have an agenda to wipe people off the face of the earth, or just get up and go?
And what type of people are they trying to eliminate? Judging by the cast of characters, the downside of progress is integration, and that's exactly where they want to start over with.
With such a muddled film, the one point they made was crystal clear.