14 February 2010

Collapse (2009)

Michael Ruppert is a man who has been preaching about the downfall of civilization for a couple of decades and he might be right. The collapse of the title is civilization as we know it -- but it's not global destruction from nuclear fallout, a global weather event, or alien attacks. The collapse Ruppert has predicted is what happens when oil runs out. The scary part is thinking about everything else that oil is used to produce -- not just the fuel to run our cars, but tires, toothbrushes, fertilizers and much more. Ruppert believes that once oil is no longer affordable, society will begin to crumble.

As often happens with documentaries, Chris Smith had not set out to direct this particular film. He was researching another issue for which Ruppert was a source but, as it says on the opening frame, Ruppert had other things to talk about.

For the majority of the film, the camera focuses on Ruppert as he talks, smokes, and laughs at the interviewer's "rookie" questions. Stock footage is used to move the story along as Ruppert goes from credible to crazy and back again.

At one point, Ruppert talks about the kind of people you find on the Titanic when told it is sinking: the type who have no clue (deer in the headlights), the type who know and are willing to do what is necessary to survive (the builders) and those who think that the messenger has no clue (the non-believers). He suggested that the builders would get busy putting together the life boats and getting the heck out of there. What he failed to mention was the subset of non-believers (or just as likely, among the deer in the headlights crowd) who, on seeing the solution, would simply take the life boats, using force as needed.

Ultimately, on the credible-crazy scale I would award him credible, though I would like to back it up by researching some of his claims myself.


Visit the official website or view the trailer: