Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008) – documentary

Since I posted Zeitgeist, the Movie here and admitted I kinda liked it, I feel obligated to include the sequel. Zeitgeist: Addendum was released (also free of charge to all) in 2008, and this one, too, got the Best Feature Activist Spirit Award.

But I would rather disagree. In the first part of the movie, the process of money creation is described in detail. The second part is basically a long interview with John Perkins who wrote Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – a wildly controversial and criticized book. And it goes downhill from there. Then The Venus Project is described, as a possible solution to all humanity’s troubles.

The Venus Project is basically a utopia, a society where all energy problems are solved with geothermal energy, there’s no money since energy is abundant. They call it “resource based society”. I fail to see how it’s different from communist utopia, with no money or markets/buying/selling so avidly described by some Soviet science fiction writers. Supposedly, if it wasn’t for corrupt oil companies, financiers and politicians, we all could live in such heaven, since we already have the technology to build it.

I got interested in this Venus Project. I surfed their website in search of answers. How are they going to distribute resources however big they are? What about geothermal power disadvantages? Its net energy? They claim there’ll be no crime – what about latest findings of cognitive science on the nature of violence? Well, as I suspected: nothing. The whole website looks like a pretty glossy paper advertisement brochure. Looks like a fine futurology/design experiment, nothing serious. How can you put it in a documentary? And talk about it as a “solution”?

I’ve always been wary of conspirologists, and the more I live the “warier” I become. Here’s the video:

Maxed Out (2006) – documentary

Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders is an independent documentary film by James Scurlock that chronicles abusive practices in the credit card industry. The film got the Special Jury Prize award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. This film isn’t available online, but I would highly recommend renting a DVD. For those who have Netflix subscription, it is currently available for instant play free of charge. It’s not really about the current economic crisis, or the credit crunch, or the national debt. It’s more about such facts as that most of the profit for credit card companies comes in form of fees and interest from those who pay late, or even eventually can’t pay at all.

The following video is James Scurlock giving a talk at Google about his movie. That took place on April 23, 2007.

The Century of the Self (2002) – documentary

This 4 episodes BBC documentary explores the influence of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis on PR, marketing industries and, later, politics. It tracks the emergence and shaping of the new “consumer citizen”, and how individualism affected elections in US and Great Britain. Won 2 and nominated for 4 best documentary awards.

Also available for AVI download from the Internet Archive.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The Corporation (2003) – documentary

A must see Canadian documentary on the role, legal status and “evil-ness” of modern corporations. The film won 11 international awards, including Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.

Also can be downloaded in AVI format from here (direct link).

Part 1:

Part 2: