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New Documentary Film on Cuba

New Documentary Film on Cuba The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived PeakOil

4th August 2006 . . . The just released film, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, will be shown at the Film Archive 18th and 19th August this month.

The Power of Community documents Cuba’s emergency transition to local organic agriculture, renewable energy, and large-scale mass transit, and the transition that occurred following the Soviet collapse in 1990, when their massive subsidies of imported oil and food to Cuba were halted.

In this documentary, ordinary Cubans talk about the immediate hardships they faced. Their GDP dropped by more than one third, transportation nearly stopped and food became scarce - the average Cuban lost 20 pounds during the first years of this economic crisis.

The film visits urban gardens and organic farms, explains the relationship between food and fossil fuels, and shows how a society can change from an industrialized, global focus to a local, community-based one. It is a rare view into this island culture, using firsthand reporting that focuses on what Cubans learned about adapting to living with less.

Cuba’s experience provides a living model for how the rest of the world can respond to the coming world oil production peak and irreversible decline some oil experts say will occur this decade. “Everyone who is concerned about Peak Oil needs to see this film,” said Richard Heinberg, author of The Party's Over and Powerdown. “It is a story not just of individual achievement, but of the collective mobilization of an entire society to meet an enormous challenge.”

The documentary is drawing rave reviews with such comments as, “…The most uplifting portrayal of a success story coming out of chaos,” and “A must see for survival in the next energy age beyond oil.” Viewer Joshua Lockyer, of Atlanta said, “If we want to know how we as a nation are going to survive the peak oil crisis we need to have models...This film begins to show us how.”

The Community Solution, Executive Producer of the film, is a non-profit organization in Yellow Springs, Ohio dedicated to seeking viable, low-energy options to the coming peak oil crisis. It hosts the annual “U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions,” and offers other programs to increase public awareness about peak oil.

Producers Faith Morgan, Pat Murphy, and Megan Quinn traveled to Cuba in 2004 to capture Cubans’ story on film. Greg Greene, videographer and writer/director of the documentary The End of Suburbia, and photographer John Morgan, traveled with them as additional crew in Cuba. Eric Johnson was editor and Tom Blessing IV, associate producer.

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oilruns for 53 minutes. Playingat the Film Archive, entrance off Guzhnee St (intersection with Taranaki St). 7pm Friday 18th and Saturday 19th August, Prices $8/6 - Ticket sales at door preceding show. Sponsored by Latin America Solidarity Committee (LAC), Appropriate Technology for Living Assn, and the Wellington Green Party.

Discussion to follow.


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