Dean Puckett explains how a chance meeting with Nafeez Ahmed ended up with the creation of ‘The Crisis of Civilization’, and how he and animator Lucca Benney put the film together from fascinating vintage archive footage and specially created animated material.
The Crisis of Civilization is a documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system.
Weaving together archival film footage and animations, film-maker Dean Puckett, animator Lucca Benney and international security analyst Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed – author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It – offer a stunning wake-up call proving that ‘another world’ is not merely possible, but on its way.
Like the book on which it is based, the film consists of seven parts which explore the interconnected dynamic of global crises of Climate Catastrophe; Peak Energy; Peak Food; Economic Instability; International Terrorism; and the Militarization Tendency – with a final section on The Post-Peak World.
The film reveals how a failure to understand the systemic context of these crises, linked to neoliberal ideology, has generated a tendency to deal not with their root structural causes, but only with their symptoms. This has led to the proliferation of war, terror, and state-terror, including encroachment on civil liberties, while accelerating global crises rather than solving them.
The real solution, Nafeez argues, is to recognise the inevitability of civilizational change, and to work toward a fundamental systemic transformation based on more participatory forms of living, politically, economically and culturally.
Also featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, acrobats, super heroes, xylophones and much, much more!
Making the Film
Artist Lucca Benney discusses how she created the striking and memorable animated sequences in ‘The Crisis of Civilisation’, explaining the meticulous and time-consuming processes and techniques she used to get such a distinctive effect.
“Call it what you will: recycled film, archival appropriation, remix, found footage… some practitioners consider it subversive and even revolutionary”- Rick Prelinger. Dean Puckett takes you on a tour of some of the best bits of the Prelinger Archive.
Who Is Nafeez?
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed MA DPhil (Sussex) is a bestselling author and international security analyst. He is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development, and has taught international relations theory, contemporary history, empire, and globalization at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex and Brunel University’s Politics & History Unit.
He has been an expert commentator for BBC News 24, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC World Today, BBC Asian Network, Channel 4, Sky News, C-SPAN, CNN, FOX News, Bloomberg, PBS Foreign Exchange, Al-Jazeera English, among others. Dr Ahmed’s terrorism research was used by the 9/11 Commission, and he testified in US Congress in summer 2005. He has also advised the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; and the UK Parliamentary Select Committee for Communities on its Inquiry into ‘Prevent’.
Having already written and published widely on international terrorism and the ‘War on Terror’, including the energy geopolitics of US and Western foreign policy strategies – previous books are The London Bombings (2006), The War on Truth (2005), Behind the War on Terror (2003) and The War on Freedom (2002) - he turned his attention increasingly to the way contemporary wars and conflicts are being radicalized in the context of escalating and converging ecological, economic and energy crises rooted in the structure of the global political economy. His research over a nearly 5 year period culminated in A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, an effort to demonstrate the systemic interconnections between climate change, energy depletion, food scarcity, economic instability, terrorism and warfare; to diagnose their structural causes; and to explore the way forward for new, more viable alternative structures necessary to sustain an equitable, harmonious post-carbon way of life.