Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek


At an hour and twenty minutes, Collapse is feature length interview with Michael Ruppert, ex-police officer, news reporter, and creator of the Left Wing environmentalist newsletter, Into the Wilderness.

At the centre of the film is the concept of Peak Oil, which Ruppert explains as being the point "when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached," and when "the rate of production enters terminal decline." It is from this centre that Ruppert's view of the world extends--with oil reserves drying up, and the importance that oil takes in our society, especially in the creation of goods, he believes that the economy is coming to a crash, that our way of life will be ending. It's a frightening portrayal of a future, and Ruppert delivers it well, confident in his research, confident in what the world is becoming. Unfortunately, this is both the pro and the con of the film, which has been made by Chris Smith, the director of Yes Men. For, while Ruppert is confident in his opinion, there is no attempt by Smith to bring in outsides voices, to not so much validate or discredit the man, but to create an argument that within the film. A small attempt is made by a faceless interviewer in the film (it could be Smith, I'm not sure) to raise questions to Ruppert, and the film then touches on ideas such as using the media to support your own opinion, and if human invention will save us all from the horrors that are coming--but Ruppert is unwilling to be drawn into debate, and refuses to answer the questions, making him as bad as the politicians that he is portrays as villains.

Yet, for the lack of outside influence on the film, it is still mostly quite interesting. I hadn't heard of the term Peak Oil before, and I must admit, I hadn't stopped to think about how much oil was used in our the construction of things from tires to toothbrushes. Possibly, if you're a little more knowledgeable than I in the area, you might find the film to be a touch on the shallow side, or lacking any real debate, but if you're like me, there's a lot of information floating around in it, and taken with grains of salt, and added with your own research, it's an interesting hour and a half (well, just under). Yes, it does tend to drag a little, especially in the middle when Ruppert begins repeating himself, but the man himself is a good speaker, and Smith has put his film together well--allowing, even, for a mirror to be held up between Ruppert and his opinion of the world, for Ruppert, like the world he is trying to convince, is in meltdown too. Without steady employment and income, and with his books not selling well, Michael Ruppert, at the end of the film, is living by himself, with a dog, counting the smiles of people when he walks the dog, and fighting eviction, since he is unable to pay his rent.

Worth you time, I reckon.


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