Already before 6 PM, people started to come in droves, despite a blistering cold (-20 degrees celsius) outside in the darkness. The lecture hall was teeming with voices and movements until the last few moments, when I held a short introduction to EOS and The Zeitgeist Movement, and the hall darkened.
The intro of the film was a scene from Times Square, where some of the actors from the end scene in Addendum reappeared, notably the “tie-man” who looks a bit like Agent Smith’s younger brother. Contrasting between a scene of gluttony and one of utter despair, the film began with illuminating the contradictions within contemporary Capitalism.
The following sequence though was much more interesting. It followed Jacque Fresco narrating parts of his life story and how he gained his conclusions about the world through an animated scenery, drawn in a style similar to “Waltz with Bashir”. It was a beautiful scene nonetheless.
The first part of the film introduced a few scientists who talked about human nature, and how the environment and experiences could change the human neurological make-up, thus connecting the genetical and environmental reasons for anti-social behaviour. In short, while it was a long segment of the film (roughly one third), it was undoubtly fresh in comparison with the earlier Zeitgeist films, where this subject had not poked up at all. Sadly, I did not spot any names for the persons interviewed, which I think was a minor flaw.
The second part of the film introduced a lengthy segment based on some of the de-humanising aspects of the market system and on it’s foundations of growth. It felt liberating watching that part, as it would definetly mean a break from the Paulite tendencies of some of the forebearers of The Zeitgeist Movement, and is also bridging the gap towards the Alternative Globalisation Movement. Then it of course deepened the criticisms against the banking industry from the following film, overally presenting a much more overviewable image of the evils that plague the world today than before.
The third part was definetly interesting, as it described an introduction to a Resource-based economy, with the exact same arguments which EOS has reiterated for several years. It was undoubtly an amazing experience, showing that we were not isolated in our criticisms. Nevertheless, we remain somewhat questioning towards the idea of a computer-controlled system, whether it truly is feasible today or even desirable. It also introduced some of the problems with Fresco’s vision, like the emphasis on technological mismanagement to even build away the potential for failure (like satellite-controlled cars). Personally, I for example love the freedom of being able to steer my own snowmobile wherever I want.
The fourth segment was somewhat interrupted by an interlude where Peter Joseph confronted those claiming Marxism or Utopianism and criticised the movement because of that. I could confess that I found his paraphrasing of the “Quest for the Holy Grail” very funny, and it definetly helped cheer up the spirit in the lecture hall. At the same time, I felt that he would have won on a more thorough definition of the attacks.
The end of the film contained a Times Square segment showing the “world revolution” against the banks, with people throwing away their money in a non-violent manner and then continuing to peacefully build up a Resource-based economy, following by a scene taking place several years later(?) with a lecturer holding a university lecture at one of the Fresco cities in the future, telling the attendants how it all began. I must say that it was a beautiful segment, though the music could have been much better. Sadly, I think that Fresco’s and Joseph’s conception of social change is a bit naïve at best, and that spontaneous eruptions could not compensate for lack of organisation.
The manner is not whether the transition will happen, for a transition towards something looks more and more inevitable for every passing day, but whether or not what social forces will prevail after the transition. We need to build up an international grassroot network to organise and build up the foundations of a sustainable world together, for our own interests and the interests of future generations.
Overall, this is in my humble opinion the best Zeitgeist film yet, albeit a little long. Peter Joseph has done a marvelous piece of artwork and a very touching and strong move for the introduction of a Resource-Based Economy. Thank you, Peter!
I also want to thank Ylva for bravely enduring the welcoming process, as well as all the attendants for showing up. You all matter! Together, we will transform the world.