Surviving Progress
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Humanity's ascent is often measured by the speed of progress. But what if progress is actually spiraling us downwards, towards collapse? Ronald Wright, whose best-seller, A Short History Of Progress inspired Surviving Progress, shows how past civilizations were destroyed by "progress traps" - alluring technologies and belief systems that serve immediate needs, but ransom the future. As pressure on the world's resources accelerates and financial elites bankrupt nations, can our globally-entwined civilization escape a final, catastrophic progress trap? With potent images and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"These are critically important issues, but it needs a sharper point to get through thick skulls, and even evolved humans who are tired of the treadmill of progress might ask: What else is new?"
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"They shy away from proposing solutions, and the filmmakers capture humanizing clashes that illustrate the challenges of finding a balance that serves all parties."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Persuasively argued in places, the film never really gets beyond the surface. That, however, may also be the point."
‑ Alistair Harkness, Scotsman
"One of those annoying runaway films in which every on-camera point is an excuse to cut to gratuitous, expensive images."
‑ Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
"Obviously we need more robots."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"A slick jeremiad, "Surviving Progress" is expertly made (it's far from tedious) but intellectually muddled."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, adapting a book by Ronald Wright, argue so persuasively that the human race is spinning out of control."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"But this is not a film interested in partisan finger-wagging, nor is it looking to place blame directly on one specific group or another (despite some pretty heavy glances toward [some] politicians). No. "Surviving Progress" is more philosophical."
‑ Witney Seibold, CraveOnline
"Debates will be inevitable after viewing this with a friend. But after about halfway through, the movie repeats itself. I was getting bored when scientist after scientist was saying the same thing over and over again"
‑ Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine
"Food for thought presented in a smart, admirably unsentimentalized and largely unmanipulative manner."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"[A] remarkably cogent, albeit remarkably alarming, film."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's self-evident and tells the truth."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Instead of providing anything in the way of new ideas or even in-depth treatment of old ideas, Surviving Progress is content to be the world's longest book trailer."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, PopMatters
"Unlike many current documentaries, it offers a fresh take on familiar issues."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"An intellectually stimulating and provocative film that raises more questions than it answers. In our age of increasingly rapid technological advances, this examination of the notion of progress is timely. It is, indeed, a vital necessity."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
More reviews for Surviving Progress on Rotten Tomatoes