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The price of progress

When Harold Crooks and Mathieu Roy’s documentary Surviving Progresspremiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, itwas already considered to be ‘timely.’

When Harold Crooks and Mathieu Roy’s documentary Surviving Progress premiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was already considered to be ‘timely.’

Adapted from Ronald Wright’s bestselling Massey Lecture about the fallout of technological progress and unsustainable consumption, the film uses sophisticated visuals and an array of famous talking heads (including Margaret Atwood) to paint a despairing picture of a global society divided into haves and have-nots.

Discussing the film on the eve of its theatrical release, both filmmakers acknowledge that the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its offshoots in other big cities like Toronto, make Surviving Progress even more of a movie of the moment.

“It’s a miracle of timing that it occupies the OWS movement’s focus on growing inequality and the hijacking of democracy by a financial oligarchy,” says Crooks.

“Those themes are central to Wright’s book and to our film. As the OWS protest transforms, hopefully our film will continue to contribute to the conversation about what a sustainable society might be.”

“Our producers organized a special screening for about 30 protesters in Montreal,” adds Roy, “and they all loved the film. One 21-year-old philosophy student said that he appreciated the idea of a film with ideas revolving around ethics and morality.”