‘The Crisis Of Civilization’


The Crisis of Civilization - Trailer

What is The Crisis of Civilization ?


The Story So Far…

by Dean Puckett

‘The Crisis Of Civilization’ began with a chance meeting between myself and international security analyst & author Nafeez Ahmed, at a political rally in St James Park, London during October 2010. Nafeez was there to discuss some of the ideas expressed in his new book “A Users Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It“. We chatted briefly and arranged that I would film a short interview for use on his website. I took my video camera along and met with him at his house in West London shortly afterward. After five hours of expansive interview with Nafeez explaining; in depth, the interconnected nature of global crises, I realised it had the potential to be a feature length documentary.

I took this initial rough interview and started to play around with different ways of illustrating it. I had worked previously with Lucca Benney on animated sequences for a music video and I asked her to come up with something which illustrated ‘our unconstrained interferance with the natural environment’. What I got was a stop motion sequence of a cut-out corporate monster eating forests from the top of the world and I knew that I was onto something. Lucca didn’t stop animating for the next 8 months as we worked together to bring the film to life and illustrate certain elements of the thesis in our hand made style.

Key to making this film possible was the discovery of internet archives of open source stock footage.
The process of making of the film has been inspired by the ‘Creative Commons’ movement on the internet, using footage mainly from the Prelinger Archives and AV Geeks collection carefully selected from watching hundreds of films. It is a world where you find subtle metaphors and parallels to shine fresh light on contemporary issues facing our societies. Some of the films are made by institutions like General Motors and Monsanto and so there is some irony in using them to interpret global crises such as food shortages and energy depletion. To say I became obsessed with these films is somewhat of an understatment. I immersed myself in this strange corporate parallel universe. The reason they are so fascinating is because they tell us so much about the world we live in. They represent the ideologies that have gotten us into this mess and the films often bring humor and a surreal edge to Nafeez’s factual and academic work.

Nafeez’s Thesis is often alarming, but the significance of this film is that it allows this information to be accessible to new ears, whilst simultaneously be presented in a different way to those who are more familiar with it. Many films that deal with simular issues leave the audience feeling somewhat dispondent with the use of spooky music and an onimous tone. I wanted to really play with the documentary form to make a film which, rather than scaring you, should be a tool of empowerment and hopefully inspiration for action.

This Film has been made on a budget of less than a shoe-string, thanks to the generous time and effort of those involved in its creation and patient friends and family. It is a work of pure dedication, love and insanity.

Dean Puckett – Producer /Director The Crisis of Civilization