Documentaries (unsustainability)

Choose at least one of these 4 resources to watch. The point is not to agree or disagree with the resources, but to develop the capacity to analyze them critically and empathetically (from the point of view of the director): to ponder the challenges, paradoxes and complexities that they faced as they tried to communicate a difficult topic. You are invited to identify  the good, the bad and the ugly,  without maneuvering the analysis/argument towards what could make you look and/or feel good or smart (the task is to stay with the trouble and to learn to do it with humility and hyper-self-reflexivity…)

Planet of the humans (Links to an external site.) 2019 (free on youtube)

Climate Crisis, Fragmentation and Collective Trauma w/ Bayo Akomolafe, Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq & Dr. Gabor Maté, 2021 (Panel, free on youtube)

River silence 2019 (UBC library)

The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel 2020 (Crave Canada)


These questions might help you sit with the complexities of the documentaries:

  • What is the documentary/panel trying to critique? What is the the documentary/panel trying to propose? Is the documentary/panel advocating for soft reform, radical reform or beyond reform of the house of modernity? What are the gifts and limits of the documentary’s/panel’s critiques and propositions?
  • To what extent do the documentaries challenge and/or reproduce HEADS UP?
  • What questions, issues or thoughts did the documentary(s) evoke for you? Check what is going on in your “bus”. Check the motion of the bus as well: is it moving? stopped? how is the road? is it straight? winding? up? down? is the bus going around in a roundabout? what is the weather inside and outside the bus? What is your analysis of your cognitive and affective responses (of what is going on in your bus)? What are you learning about yourself from observing your bus?
  • Pay attention to which elements, themes, passages or statements of the material impact your body and where. What are you noticing? Are you feeling constriction, tightness, tension, pressure, tingling, opening or lightness? Where in your body are you noticing these feelings? Is your posture shifting? Are you folding in or straightening up? Are you clenching your teeth or bringing your shoulders to your ears? What are these responses revealing to you?
  • What is the relevance and implications of the documentary(ies) for your context, roles and sense of self? Make notes about the documentary for your assignment.