I'll be buying the film, seeing there will be no screenings around here. Here is an excerpt I got in my email;
In a society barraged with advertisements to buy, buy, buy, and media headlines that growth is good, all you need is growth, growth makes the world go ‘round, how is the message of sustainable consumption to get through? Dave Gardner decided that one way is to fight media with media (albeit small media) and he wrote and directed the just-released film Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth. To counteract the perception (and probably the reality) that sustainability advocates are a gloomy bunch, he uses humor, depicting himself as a prototypical “growthbuster,” barging into government planning meetings wielding his “growthbuster” ray gun and questioning basic assumptions. The humor comes through the contrast between his low-key, deadpan delivery—a Woody Allen-ish character, the little guy remarking that the emperor has no clothes—and the grandiose ambitions of halting the labyrinthian spread of roads and construction ever deeper into what’s left of nature.
As a long-time crusader against development in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Gardner has earned the growthbuster moniker. His efforts culminated in a 2009 challenge to a powerful city council member, and the story of that race acts as a narrative framing device to keep viewers interested. Growthbusters also includes fast-paced juxtapositions of roads and construction with the remnants of nature (including a brief shot of the prototypical dead animal on a highway) and a flurry of headlines celebrating the need for such growth (that many of these are computer-screen shots gives away the film’s low budget—perhaps its growth-busting budget?). At its heart, though, the film is a traditional documentary, featuring interviews with key thinkers on sustainable consumption: Bill McKibben, Juliet Schor, Paul Ehrlich, and Dennis Meadows, among others. They systematically lay out the dilemma created by humanity’s burgeoning consumption habits in conjunction with population growth, by the growing stress on water, energy, and other resources.
Particularly effective is a sequence where physics professor Al Bartlett (augmented by graphics) explains the danger emanating from the human inability to understand exponential growth (even if we understand it theoretically, its practical effects still come as a shock). If a bacteria is put in a jar at 11 o’clock and doubles every minute until at noon the jar is completely full, at what point is the glass half full? Our first reaction might be 11:30 or even 11:50, but of course it’s a minute before noon; similarly, the human race is closer than we think to consuming our planet to death.
Growthbusters, then, effectively conveys the gravity of our situation