the best errol morris movie i’ve seen that’s not directed by errol morris. this is directed by chris smith who did the brilliant american movie: the making of northwestern, but it’s done in errol morris’ style from stem to stern; the lighting, the music, the content, the format – everything reeks of errol morris.
content-wise it’s an interview with one guy about his predictions on the collapse of modern society. he looks primarily at peak oil and how he thinks it will affect our economy and society once we reach that point. he’s more or less an alarmist, a chicken little of sorts, but what separates him from the average alarmist is that he’s been right before. he was right about the economic collapse and its causes, so that lends some creedence to his current predictions.
nothing here is new to the semi-well-informed person. most of us know about peak oil and the gold standard/fiat currency and the general fragility of our society. he discounts our ability to come up with new technologies to get out of problems of scarcity. for example, if we ever figure out fusion we’re going to pretty much set. nuclear isn’t great, but if we had to, we could use it for a large percentage of our energy needs. the biggest ace in the hole, though, is the population problem, which is an inescapable one for environmentalists and doomsday-sayers. no matter what we do, the population of the earth (around 7 billion now) is an enormous problem.
overall, not a bad film, but the guy came off like a bit too much of a crackpot to take completely seriously. in the end, maybe we want doomsday to happen because we know it’s going to come for us (death is inevitable).