Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Economics of Happiness Film

I learned about this film from the Transition Network and would like to see it -  I take the liberty of copying the synopsis below.   I know it's a lot for a blog on art, but I feel this networking of people, and media, dedicated to really addressing what is going on today and finding solultions is so vital, provides hope as well as understanding of the problems, and is the very best of what The World Wide Web can offer us in this time of global emergency.  Spider Woman no doubt approves.


 Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.

The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.

The film shows how globalization breeds cultural self-rejection, competition and divisiveness; how it structurally promotes the growth of slums and urban sprawl; how it is decimating democracy. We learn about the obscene waste that results from trade for the sake of trade: apples sent from the UK to South Africa to be washed and waxed, then shipped back to British supermarkets; tuna caught off the coast of America, flown to Japan to be processed, then flown back to the US. We hear about the suicides of Indian farmers; about the demise of land-based cultures in every corner of the world.

The second half of The Economics of Happiness provides not only inspiration, but practical solutions. Arguing that economic localization is a strategic solution multiplier that can solve our most serious problems, the film spells out the policy changes needed to enable local businesses to survive and prosper. We are introduced to community initiatives that are moving the localization agenda forward, including urban gardens in Detroit, Michigan and the Transition Town movement in Totnes, UK. We see the benefits of an expanding local food movement that is restoring biological diversity, communities and local economies worldwide. And we are introduced to Via Campesina, the largest social movement in the world, with more than 400 million members.

here's the trailor  on UTUBE if you can't get Vimeo:  http://youtu.be/VkdnFYDbiBE

And if that's not enough,  here's a list garnered from their website (www.theeconomicsofhappiness.org) of films available that address the problems of capitalism, globalization, unsustainability, and ecology, along with many hopeful alternatives and experiments. 

Films for Change

Affluenza – On the ‘ailment’ of consumerism.
Ancient Futures - A documentary about indigenous livelihoods in Ladakh, India, by Helena Norberg-Hodge.
Atamai Village - According to Helena Norberg-Hodge: "One of the most beautifully made inspirational films on eco-villages".
Baraka – Montage of unforgettable images; a collage of life in all its beauty and brutality.
Bag It – “Is your life too plastic?”
Big River – A 30-minute documentary about the ecological consequences of industrial agriculture, by the makers of King Corn.
Cannibal Tours – “Affords a glimpse at the real (mostly unconsidered or misunderstood) reasons why 'civilised' people wish to encounter the 'primitive' … where much of what passes for values in western culture is exposed in stark relief as banal and fake.”
Captialism: A Love Story – Michael Moore’s latest feature takes a piercing look at the ‘mother of all problems’.
Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood
Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia – Find out the toxic reality of where your old electronics go after you take them for 'recycling' or throw them out.
Fed Up! – An entertaining and informative overview of our current food production system from the Green Revolution to the Biotech Revolution and what we can do about it.
Food, Inc. – Exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy and workers' rights. “You’ll never look at dinner the same way.”
Fowl Play – On the industrial egg industry and the suffering it entails; a parable of how society has become disconnected from what we eat.
Fourth World War – A story of men and women around the world who resist being annihilated by globalization.
Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth - "One man takes on City Hall, Wall Street and the Pope as he questions society's most fundamental beliefs about prosperity.
Garbage: The Revolution Starts at Home – A typical Canadian family agrees to keep its garbage at home rather than export it 'out of sight, out of mind'. Shows the true hidden costs of the consumer class lifestyle.
Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage - Shows how today's waste crisis is intrinsic to capitalism, and how anti-litter campaigns were devised by corporations to disarm restrictions on disposable packaging.
Harsud: Making of a Ghost Town – The socio-cultural costs paid by local communities in Maharashtra, India, in the name of “development”.
Home – Spectacular aerial footage of the Earth shot in fifty countries by Yann Arthus- Bertrand; a clarion call for humanity to become aware of the full extent of its spoliation of the Earth and change its patterns of consumption.
In the Forest Stands a Bridge – A beautiful record of the dying art of bamboo bridge making in Arunachal Pradesh, India, and the tribal community that makes it possible.
Iskay Yachay: Two Kinds of Knowledge; Loving Teacher; Being a Wawa in the Andes; other films by PRATEC (Andean Project of Peasant Technologies)
John and Jane – Unsettling look at the reality of call centers – and cultural imperialism – in India, and modernity’s profound loneliness and confusion.
King Corn – About two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives the U.S. fast-food nation. Raises troubling questions about how we eat – and how we farm.
Let’s Make Money – Eerie truths about the casino called the international financial system.
Life and Debt – A story of some of the impacts on Jamaica of international financial institutions, structural adjustment and free trade policies, and mass tourism.
Manufactured Landscapes – A stunning look at the ‘monstrosity of globalized commerce’ focussing on China.
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media – Unforgettable look at the information propaganda machine and its complicity in wars and other disasters, by the same people who later made The Corporation
Mother Earth – The amazing work of P.V. Sateesh and the Deccan Development Society to revive traditional agro-ecological knowledge, seeds and practices in Andhra Pradesh (no website information available)
No Impact Man – A New York City-based family resolve to live for a year with the minimum environmental impact
1000 Days and a Dream – A multi-year struggle by villagers against a coca cola factory in Kerala) (http://thirdeyefilms.org/)
Our Daily Bread – A montage of unforgettable, disturbing images of the inner workings of the industrial food system
Our Synthetic Sea – The health and environmental crisis of plastics, saturating the oceans, sea life, and ultimately, us
Pig Business – The true cost behind the factory-farmed pork in supermarkets, who’s behind it, and what you can do about it
Schooling the World – Beautifully shot on location in Ladakh, looks at the impact of Western-style schooling on indigenous cultures
Surplus – The emptiness of consumerism in the rich world juxtaposed with the suffering to create it in the poor.
Surviving Progress - "Everytime history repeats itself, the price goes up."
The Age of Stupid – An old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watches 'archive' footage from 2008 and asks: why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance?
The Century of the Self; The Power of Nightmares; The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom? – A riveting series of films exposing, among many other things, the power of media and propaganda to manipulate
The Coconut Revolution – When the islanders of Bouganville kick out a multinational mining company, they undertake to rediscover their traditions and regenerate their local economy
The Corporation – An unflinching anatomy of the most powerful institution of our time; essential viewing
The End of Poverty? – “The first film to succinctly explain how our economic system has created poverty and why it is the foundation for the current financial crisis”
The Future of Food – On the perils of industrial food system generally, but especially about genetically mutilated foods
The 11th Hour – Industrial capitalism has brought every life-support system on Earth to the brink of collapse. A broad-ranging examination of this, the most pressing crisis of our times
The End of Suburbia – On the ‘peak oil’ phenomenon and all its implications to survival of oil dependent industrial ‘civilization’
The Global Banquet – Exposes globalization’s profoundly damaging effect on our food system in easily understandable terms
The New Rulers of the World – Renowned journalist John Pilger explores the connection between oppressive regimes and corporate globalization in Indonesia
The Planet – A powerful portrait of the devastating effects of the global economy on the environment worldwide
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil – An inspiring and solutions- oriented film that’s especially good to show after End of Suburbia
The Slow Poisoning of India – On the devastating health effects of pesticides in India
The Story of Stuff – Simple and short – but powerful – animated explanation of the problems of globalization and consumerism, and a call for a radically different path
The Take – Workers in Argentina dispossessed by the vicissitudes of 'structural adjustment' decide to 'take' back their workplaces, minus bosses and hierarchy
The War on Democracy – John Pilger's look at the movements for genuine democracy in Latin America, and the imperial forces that oppose them
The World According to Monsanto - Investigative expose of the notorious chemical- biotech company
The Yes Men, and sequel, The Yes Men Fix the World – Hilarious yet serious pranksterism against corporate power run amok
Toxic Sludge is Good for You: The Public Relations Industry Unspun
Urban Roots - A film about urban farming in Detroit, Michigan, a city facing industrial collapse and depopulation.
We Feed the World – Traces the sources of some of the industrial food system in Europe, making the links to environmental destruction and injustice ‘somewhere else’ along the way
What a Way to Go – “A middle class white guy comes to grips with peak oil, climate change, mass extinction, population overshoot and the demise of the American lifestyle”
What Would Jesus Buy? – Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping take on America's suicidal consumer binge during the Christmas holiday 'shopping season'
What's the Economy For, Anyway? – “A humorous monologue about the American economy today, challenging the ways we measure economic success – especially the Gross Domestic Product”
Yap: How Did They Know We’d Like TV? – “A witty and disturbing view of cultural imperialism at its most cynical and blatant”

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

WOW! I'd love to post this trailer. And the list of movies is impressive. Thanks so much for putting this up, Lauren.