Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Documentary of hope

Many people who have seen the End of Suburbia, Collapse, or Food, Inc. can tell you how their thinking, even the course of their lives, have been changed by these films.

One movie, especially, has been inspirational to many people interested in peak oil - The Power of Community, a documentary that showed how Cuba was able to survive during their "Special Period," when oil supplies were cut by half and food supplies were cut by 80% to this tiny island nation. It has given many people hope after discovering the reality of the tumbling crises of peak oil, depleting resources, Ponzi economics and climate change.

We now have a chance to see if the process of re-building resiliency can occur on a completely different tiny, impoverished island nation - Haiti. A new documentary, "Hands that Feed," will explore "the agricultural collapse in Haiti, its role in the post-earthquake food crisis, and the emerging grassroots development models that seek to restore Haiti's food supply and environment."

The burning questions: can Haiti escape the dependency trap of international aid and "gifts" of seed from Monsanto? Can they turn a deforested nation into one of food self-sufficiency? This may be their last chance - international aid will not be around forever, and what will happen to them if they haven't developed their own food systems by the time the money runs out?

So check out the Hands that Feed film concept at their funding request site. A film like this could be an inspiration for many of our own community transitions. As humbling as it is, we too have lost the ability to feed ourselves without long, drawn-out, oil-dependent agricultural supply chains, and I bet we have something to learn from the process of reinvention going on in Haiti right now.

I hope that Josh, Matthew and Ketty will be there to capture the unfolding events that are happening right now - but they won't make it without a little help. They have 113 "backers" (angel investors) excited about their project, but they need more if they are going to reach their funding goal in time to film the critical events. Take a look!

Note: I don't personally know the filmmakers, but I believe this film has a lot of potential to benefit Transition groups, community builders, and local food movements around the world. So I will be making a donation - and if the film gets produced, I'll get a free copy as thanks for my gift!


Kate said...

Just as a footnote about Cuba's Special Period. I had long heard the 50% loss figure bandied about for their oil situation, but more recently heard it was only a 20% loss. As usual, I can't remember the source of this statistic, but I do remember that it seemed quite credible and authoritative. It's also plausible given what we know happened in the US during the oil embargo of the 70s, when we lost only about 6% of our supply, if I'm not mistaken.

The 20% figure, if correct, puts things in a slightly starker perspective.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Kate - thanks, I will try to research some alternate sources re: the amount of the shortage if I blog about the Special Period again. Did you hear anything about the 80% reduction of grain statistic?