last night was astoundingly wonderful.
frank lopez – creator of the anarchist video newszine “it’s the end of the world as we know it and i feel fine” – came through town to screen his latest film - end-civ:
END:CIV examines our culture’s addiction to systematic violence and environmental exploitation, and probes the resulting epidemic of poisoned landscapes and shell-shocked nations. Based in part on Endgame, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV asks: “If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?”
The causes underlying the collapse of civilizations are usually traced to overuse of resources. As we write this, the world is reeling from economic chaos, peak oil, climate change, environmental degradation, and political turmoil. Every day, the headlines re-hash stories of scandal and betrayal of the public trust. We don’t have to make outraged demands for the end of the current global system — it seems to be coming apart already.
But acts of courage, compassion and altruism abound, even in the most damaged places. By documenting the resilience of the people hit hardest by war and repression, and the heroism of those coming forward to confront the crisis head-on, END:CIV illuminates a way out of this all-consuming madness and into a saner future.
Backed by Jensen’s narrative, the film calls on us to act as if we truly love this land. The film trips along at a brisk pace, using music, archival footage, motion graphics, animation, slapstick and satire to deconstruct the global economic system, even as it implodes around us. END:CIV illustrates first-person stories of sacrifice and heroism with intense, emotionally-charged images that match Jensen’s poetic and intuitive approach. Scenes shot in the back country provide interludes of breathtaking natural beauty alongside clearcut evidence of horrific but commonplace destruction.
END:CIV features interviews with Paul Watson, Waziyatawin, Gord Hill, Michael Becker, Peter Gelderloos, Lierre Keith, James Howard Kunstler, Stephanie McMillan, Qwatsinas, Rod Coronado, John Zerzan and more.
the event was packed beyond capacity, with activists, rewilders, musicians and assorted anarchists filling the room.
in addition to the film – followed by a brief Q-and-A session – there was music provided by holy! holy! holy!, a nomadic band of anarchists and hell-raisers. their website has not been updated for a while, but they performed many of the song and streaming on their website.
the film itself was inspiring and disturbing in its clarity of vision and message. some viewers were shaken and saddened during the screening, but overall, people seemed to be inspired, and i’ve had conversations today and last night about the subjects addressed by the many people interviewed throughout the film.
personally, i respect the fact that lopez included many native elders and activists in the film. if anarchists are serious about rewilding and fighting back against civilization, we need to make more ties with native peoples in struggle against our mutual enemies.
based mostly on derrick jensens’ book End Game, vol.s 1 and 2, the film illustrates 4 of the 20-some points jensen brings up in his books. perhaps the most important aspect to end-civ are the segments about the tar sands mining being done in canada, which are poisoning pristine mountains, rivers and lakes in areas where few white settlers live, but which are still inhabited by native peoples who live off their lands. poison the water and land, and the people get poisoned, too. this amounts to a slow-rolling act of genocide.
lopez is touring with the film and upcoming dates are posted on the end-civ website.
big kudos to hipbone studios for hosting this event!
here’s a trailer for the film: