Margaret Atwood on Progress Traps in two new Films

Margaret Atwood on Progress Traps in two new Films

Exerpted from Women’s eNEWS:


By Jennifer Merin, WeNews film critic, April 4, 2012

Two movies this month–“Payback” and “Surviving Progress”–offer great food for talk, thought and encounters with Canadian writer Margaret Atwood.

“Surviving Progress,” opening April 6, is Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks’ provocative documentary based on Ronald Wright’s “A Short History Of Progress.” Here Atwood appears along with Wright, Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki and others to discuss how the human species falls prey to “progress traps.” These are technologies and belief systems that serve immediate needs but put the future at risk. Replete with dramatic reenactments (herding wooly mammoths, for example) and clever graphics, the documentary entertains while making you think deeply about human nature.

It would make an intense and perfect double bill with Jennifer Baichwal’s “Payback,” opening April 25. This is a masterful documentary based on Atwood’s provocative eponymous treatise plumbing the effects of debt on human behavior. Beautifully shot and brilliantly edited, the film interweaves clips of Atwood reading from her book and commentaries from the likes of British author Karen Armstrong, International Crisis Group’s Louise Arbour and social justice author Raj Patel. Stories include a reformed thief and drug addict who’s guilt-ridden about victimizing an elderly woman, a farmer who takes a stand against the cruel exploitation of workers in Florida’s tomato fields and Canadian media mogul Conrad Black’s fraud conviction. Moviegoers owe Baichwal a debt of thanks for “Payback.”


~ by artpoped on April 15, 2012.

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