The Age of Stupid

It.s 10.30 sunday evening and I’ve just come back from seeing the most amazing film: The Age of Stupid. We had a special screening in Machynlleth – the film was only completed a month ago and wont be available on general release until September – but when it is you should all go and see it. The film has been made thanks to individual donations and a small scale share issue to regular people and stars Oscar nominated actor Pete Postelthwaite as an archivist of the human race isolated in a secure library of human achievement in the Arctic around about the year 2050. Preparing to beam a history of humanity and global climate change into space he looks back one more time at our own stupidity and our overwhelming failure to grasp the seriousness of our situation. Director Franny Armstrong, a remarkable person of immense talent and as I found out tonight listening to her talk in an after film discussion panel, great humility, also made the documentary film about Helen Steel and David Morris’ fight against the McDonalds corporation. Unlike a Michael Moore film, which is all about how Michael Moore sees the world, Franny lets other people tell their stories – and the documentary is all the better for it. She spends time with an Indian airline entrepreneur, an oil worker who survived and helped many others survive Hurricane Katrina, an aspiring medical worker in oil and war torn Nigeria, Iraqi children living in exile, a wind farm developer fighting to secure planning permission for a wind farm on a disused air base and an Alpine mountaineer grieving for the loss of his glaciers. These are people living on the front line of global climate change and with the politics of our carbon economy. Their stories are extremely moving and as a viewer rewarding to watch. Perhaps for me the most shocking image was the sight of gas flairs in African oil wells burning into the sky. The gas, a by-product of oil exploration could be put to use powering african cooking stoves. Instead it is burnt off and burns more CO2 in a year than many millions of homes in the UK. As well as regulating domestic consumers in the UK governments need to force oil companies to do something about this terrible wastefulness. The final edit of the film is made but if you have money to invest in a powerful, well made and noble film then please visit their website and sign up now. They need to meet post production costs, pay for marketing and distribution. If you work for an NGO, local council, school or any group at all that would like to be part of this film get involved in some way, This is a ground up film and you can help. They will be launching the film in September and want as many people as possible to go to see it on the opening weekend to make sure it gets good distribution. I will be posting news here but bookmark their website and keep informed – www.crudemovie.net.

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