Film For Thought

I think it’s time we revived our regular film shows, and tried to show one film a month. As Julie and Rachel have been very supportive of TSL’s activities, allowing us to use the premises at The China Beach Club in Mui Wo for our Swap Parties and film shows, I’d like to continue showing films there. It’s free, there’s food and drink available, and they’ve got a screen we can use, which saves an awful lot of hassle trying to transport my screen on my bike. However, if anyone has any other suggestions do let me know, as we have shown films in Pui O and Tong Fuk before.
I’ve recently bought the new documentary The Crisis of Civilisation by Dean Puckett featuring Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, which is based on Dr Ahmed’s book of the same name. He argues that the problems of global warming, peak oil, economic collapse, terrorism and food shortages should not be looked at in isolation, as most experts do, but are all interrelated. Looked at holistically they are symptoms of a civilisation in collapse. We have the opportunity to re-fashion a new, more equitable civilisation if we so choose, or we can consign ourselves to the dustbin of history. The choice is ours.

It’s good to see a different face discussing these issues, and he may well be able to get through to a younger audience than those of us who are hooked on old baldies like Hansen and Kunstler, but I’m not sure if showing so much of it in the form of old fifties-style clips was the best way to go. It needed a bit more variety. The fact that he was the only expert on offer was also different from many such documentaries, and perhaps not a bad thing, but the occasional repetition of the fact that he’d trawled through so many reports and scientific papers was unnecessary, I thought. That surely is the least you would expect of someone making such a film. It also didn’t do much for his credibility to say that the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 425ppm, when it’s 391ppm according to Hansen in his recent TED talk.

However, it’s a must-see film, bringing together so many facets of the appalling destruction we are wreaking upon the planet and upon the lives of the next generation, and one which will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to a new cohort of activists. A tipping point is about to be reached: let’s just hope it is the point at which we all start to get serious about the crisis we’re in, rather than the point of no return.

I know there are many good films that people in TSL have got, but which many of us have not seen. If you’ve got one which you think would make for good public viewing, please let me know at

Don Latter


About transitionsl

I've been an English teacher for the best part of 30 years, teaching in England, Tanzania, Brunei, Australia and Hong Kong. I've always been interested in nature and environmental issues, but it was the discovery of Peak Oil about five years ago that galvanised me into trying to help my local community to prepare for what will be a dramatically different world to the one many of us have been used to. I've been helping to run a transition group, following the guidelines created by Rob Hopkins's Transition Movement in the UK. This blog is an attempt to engage in discussion with a wider group of people in Hong Kong on the ways to transition from our current oil dependency to a state of fossil-free local resilience.
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