Wednesday, 04 March 2015

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"Surviving Progress", by M. Roy & H. Crooks (Executive Producer: Martin Scorsese)

Screened on 10 October, 2012

Runtime: 86'

survivingprogress“Every time history repeats itself the price goes up.”

Surviving Progress presents the story of human advancement as awe-inspiring and double-edged. It reveals the grave risk of running the 21st century’s software — our know-how — on the ancient hardware of our primate brain which hasn’t been upgraded in 50,000 years. With rich imagery and immersive soundtrack, filmmakers Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks launch us on journey to contemplate our evolution from cave-dwellers to space explorers.

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. With intersecting stories from a Chinese car-driving club, a Wall Street insider who exposes an out-of-control, environmentally rapacious financial elite, and eco-cops defending a scorched Amazon, the film lays stark evidence before us. 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 back-up planet.

Surviving Progress brings us thinkers who have probed our primate past, our brains, and our societies. 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. Cosmologist Stephen Hawking looks to homes on other planets. Biologist Craig Venter, whose team decoded the human genome, designs synthetic organisms he hopes will create artificial food and fuel for all.

Distinguished Professor of Environment Vaclav Smil counters that five billion “have-nots” aspire to our affluent lifestyle and, without limits on the energy and resource-consumption of the “haves”, we face certain catastrophe. Others — including primatologist Jane Goodall, author Margaret Atwood, and activists from the Congo, Canada, and USA — place their hope in our ingenuity and moral evolution.

Surviving Progress leaves us with a challenge: To prove that making apes smarter was not an evolutionary dead-end.

The film was followed by a Q&A, with:

  • Ms. Isabelle Durant, European deputee, Vice-president of the European Parliament
  • Mr. Chris Vanden Bilcke, Head of UNEP’s Liaison Office to the EU in Brussels
  • Mr. Laurent Ledoux, Head of the ASBL Philosophy & Management
  • Mr. Jeremy Wates, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau

** This screening was in partnership with the Green-up Film Festival and the VUB.

 


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View or download the original invitationpdf
Handout for the eventpdf

Synopsis

Supreme Price bannertop

In 1993 Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after, the election was annulled and a military coup brought General Sani Abacha into power. M.K.O Abiola was imprisoned and his wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement. She organized rallies and the longest oil workers strike in Nigerian history, winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle against human rights violations perpetrated by the military dictatorship. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996. Director Joanna Lipper elegantly dovetails past and present as she tells this story through the eyes of their eldest daughter, Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later. Determined not to let her parents’ ideals die with them, Hafsat has dedicated her adult life to continuing their fight for democracy. Returning to Nigeria after years abroad, she is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society. A startlingly intimate rendering of the epic and tragic intergenerational Abiola family saga, THE SUPREME PRICE provides a unprecedented look inside of Africa’s most populous nation from the perspective of women, exposing a deep history of political corruption and a culture where a tiny circle of political elites monopolize billions of dollars worth of oil revenue while the vast majority of 165 million Nigerian people remain impoverished.

Visit the website: www.thesupremeprice.com

 

Biography of Filmmaker

Filmmaker - Joanna LipperJoanna Lipper is an award-winning filmmaker and Lecturer at Harvard University where she teaches Using Film for Social Change in the Department of African and African-American Studies. Her work as a documentary filmmaker has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, ITVS, Britdoc Foundation, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, Women Make Movies and Chicken & Egg Pictures. Her latest documentary, The Supreme Price, received the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award and was named Best Documentary at Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF). An extended trailer from the film was commissioned to launch Gucci’s Chime for Change Women’s Empowerment Campaign at TED 2013. Previous films Lipper has produced and directed include Inside Out: Portraits of Children (1996), Growing Up Fast (1999) and Little Fugitive (2006). Lipper is the author of the nationally acclaimed book Growing Up Fast. Her photography has been published and exhibited in the US and overseas.

For more information please visit: www.JoannaLipper.com

 

Watch the Extended Trailer

 

Supreme Price awards

The Supreme Price - Trailer

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Visit the website
www.thesupremeprice.com

Director's website
www.joannalipper.com

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