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.