Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Power of Community DVD

My parents and I watched Community Solution's The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil tonight. We liked it, but before I review it I need to set up the background.

I'm visiting my folks in between Summits and Workshops and the last few nights we have been talking about the possibility of us moving back to California. During this discussion, I have brought up my concerns about sustainability, the quality of life and even survivability in the face of oil depletion. So we got to sharing our future scenarios from a half-full, or half-empty perspective. Mom has a grim view and felt somewhat hopeless about the whole thing. Dad felt that people would rally in the face of adversity. I was just plain getting depressed. Then I remembered that I had brought the Cuba DVD, and this was the perfect occasion for it. So I invited them to join me in watching it.

We all liked it a lot. Dad was impressed with the production values. He said it well-crafted, with a good balance of talking heads, graphs and action shots. It explained the problem concisely, without being overblown. It was very matter of fact and presented in digestible segments. Once it got to the part about how the Cubans dealt with their situation we were rooting for them. It presented their struggles and solutions in a human scale. It was inspiring.

Mom thought it clearly explained the problems and solutions and she liked the way they used an outline to help us follow along with where they were in the presentation. She thought it was hopeful and upbeat even if she wasn't sure how their solutions would translate to her community.

I have a background in independent feature film production, so I am pretty critical. But I found nothing that detracted from the people or the message. It was seamless in its delivery. The folks they interviewed were very articulate and I learned a lot. We are not Cuba, but it was helpful to see that people pulled together to solve their problems and made progress in a matter of a few years.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I have asked my local library to order a copy of this DVD. I think there is strong interest here in Seattle.

Liz Logan said...

That's a great idea. I know some groups have gotten their local indepent movie rental store to carry The End of Suburbia, too.

Dr. said...

Thanks for the review. I just bought the DVD from Community Solutions. My girlfriend and I will be hosting a showing of this documentary at our house next week. What else do you think we should discuss about after the screening? Thanks.

Liz Logan said...

I know at one point I talked to the folks at Community Solutions about writing up some discussion questions, but I don't know if they ever did. It might be worth sending an email to find out.

The discussion will really depend on how familiar people are with the peak oil issue, and how far along they are in their process of comimg to grips with it emotionally.

So the first thing I would do is find that out--either with a show of hands ("how many people are familiar with peak oil?", or a go-round with a simple open ended question like "what is your response to the film? What did you learn, think or feel?"

If its a big group, you might even ask people to brainstorm a list of topics that they would be most interested in discussion, and then try to organize them and cover as much as possible.

I've been training in meeting design for the last two years, feel free to email me if you'd like to chat further about it.

Dr. said...

I sure would love to chat further about this with you. How do I get in touch with you?

Liz Logan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz Logan said...

Click on my name and it will take you to my profile, and you can email me from there.

(Somehow my profile was set to private, but I fixed that.)

I look forward to connecting!

prairie_rose said...

Hello. I followed this link from the Power of Community website. I watched this documentary last spring and it has my focus corrected! My concern is that the cocumentary left me believing that the majority of Cuba was liberated from dependancy but a U.S. organic farmer who just spent 2-weeks in Havana says they are nearly all agri-business there. Anyone with knowledge about this that could comment?

Thank you~

أيفون said...

ok this is a wonderful review