A screening of the new documentary followed by a debate with Michael
Ruppert via webcam: the man who broke the story of the CIA dealing
cocaine, predicted the 'credit crunch' of 2008 and connected the dots
between 'The War on Terror" and Peak Oil ... just some of his many
achievements in 30 years of political activism.
Is ‘the West’ in financial, economic, political and social collapse?
Are universities facing up to the realities of what is going on or are
we in denial?
Date: Friday, 26 March 2010
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Small Hall cinema, Goldsmiths College
Street: Lewisham Way, SE14 6NW
Americans generally like to hear good news. They like to believe that
a new president will right old wrongs, that clean energy will replace
dirty oil and that fresh thinking will set the economy straight.
American pundits tend to restrain their pessimism and hope for the
best. But is anyone prepared for the worst?
Meet Michael Ruppert, a different kind of American. A former Los
Angeles police officer turned independent reporter, he predicted the
current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the
Wilderness, at a time when most Wall Street and Washington analysts
were still in denial. Director Chris Smith has shown an affinity for
outsiders in films like American Movie and The Yes Men. In Collapse,
he departs stylistically from his past documentaries by interviewing
Ruppert in a format that recalls the work of Errol Morris and Spalding
Sitting in a room that looks like a bunker, Ruppert recounts his
career as a radical thinker and spells out the crises he sees ahead.
He draws upon the same news reports and data available to any Internet
user, but he applies a unique interpretation. He is especially
passionate about the issue of peak oil, the concern raised by
scientists since the seventies that the world will eventually run out
of fossil fuel. While other experts debate this issue in measured
tones, Ruppert doesn't hold back at sounding an alarm, portraying an
apocalyptic future. Listening to his rapid flow of opinions, the
viewer is likely to question some of the rhetoric as paranoid or
deluded, and to sway back and forth on what to make of the extremism.
Smith lets viewers form their own judgments.
Collapse also serves as a portrait of a loner. Over the years, Ruppert
has stood up for what he believes in despite fierce opposition. He
candidly describes the sacrifices and motivators in his life. While
other observers analyze details of the economic crisis, Ruppert views
it as symptomatic of nothing less than the collapse of industrial
Thom Powers / Toronto International Film Festival
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Visual Sociology PhD candidate
Department of Sociology
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 717