NIC screening Surviving Progress

Surviving Progress brings us thinkers who have probed our primate past, our brains and our societies.

Progress is generally assumed to be good.

Author and Massey Lecturer Ronald Wright questions if that is always the case. Join World Community on May 7 at 7 p.m. at the North Island College theatre for the screening of the film Surviving Progress.

It is is a stunning 87-minute feature documentary produced by Martin Scorsese that connects the financial collapse, growing inequity, and the Wall Street oligarchy, with future technology, sustainability and the fate of civilization.

Ronald Wright, whose best-seller A Short History of Progress inspired this film, reveals how civilizations are repeatedly destroyed by “progress traps.”

Alluring technologies serve immediate needs, but ransom the future. In the past, we could use up a region’s resources and move on. But if today’s global civilization collapses from over-consumption, that’s it. We have no backup planet.

Surviving Progress brings us thinkers who have probed our primate past, our brains and our societies. The filmmakers trace the evolution of the concept of debt, the ways in which technology both created and destroyed empires (Greek, Roman, Mayan) throughout history, and how the one per cent have hoarded and controlled resources since we left the caves.

This riveting film trots out a who’s-who of great thinkers — Jane Goodall, Stephen Hawking, Margaret Atwood, assorted scientists and historians — who are riveting as they walk us through the question of whether we will or can survive progress.

Some amplify Wright’s urgent warning, while others have faith that the very progress which has put us in jeopardy is also the key to our salvation.

Surviving Progress leaves us with a challenge; to prove that making apes smarter was not an evolutionary dead-end. Reviewer Andrew Beckerman calls this  documentary “a visually and intellectually engaging film.”

This is the final film screening in World Community’s spring film series. Admission is by donation. Everyone is welcome.

For more information, phone 250-337-5412.

— World Community