Life on planet Earth is at a crossroads, with multiple environmental crises bearing down upon us simultaneously: climate change, resource depletion, oil supply decline, ocean pollution, overpopulation, species extinction, and more. The Great Squeeze inventories and connects all of them, showing how short-sighted human behavior and decisions have resulted in a situation that threatens our lives and planet.
The film travels back in time to take us on a journey through history when past civilizations made the same mistakes — growing too fast, depleting their natural resources and ultimately collapsing. The Anasazi society, the Mayan civilization and the Easter Island culture all provide graphic examples of peoples violating principles of sustainability and exceeding the carrying capacity of their environment. The veil of mystery surrounding the disappearance of these once-thriving cultures is peeled back to offer insights into our own modern social order seemingly bent on a similar path of self-destruction.
Instead of the usual band-aid approaches, The Great Squeeze challenges us to learn from history and transition towards a more sustainable economy that values our environment. By changing our levels of consumption, deploying new technologies, and reordering social priorities, we can still live well.
Renowned scientists, thinkers and authors, including Richard Heinberg, Edward O. Wilson, Lester Brown, Alexandra Cousteau, Jim White, Howard Kunstler and others, provide perspective and insights on our current state of affairs and how we can change course.
The Great Squeeze was selected for screening in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference, and at 14 film festivals around the world, where it won several awards, including Best Feature, Colorado Environmental Film Festival.
• 8 minute film “Greening in the Heartland,” that traces the rebirth and transformation of Greensburg, Kansas. On May 4th, 2007, a tornado destroyed 95% of Greensburg, Kansas. In the aftermath, conservative farmers and ranchers joined with environmentalists to rebuild Greensburg as a model green community.
• Guided worksheets (with answers) grades 8-12
• Lesson Plans:
-General Worksheet on The Great Squeeze
-Project: Starting a School Recycling Program
-Project: Improving Your School Recycling Program
-Science Fair/Project Ideas List
-Socratic Seminar With Questions
-Discussion and Essay Questions
-Website Resource List for Teachers
-EPA Lessons With Supporting Materials
• English, French, Spanish subtitles
• Extended interviews with subject experts
Running Time: 68 minutes
Gr 9 – Adult
Special Features and Lesson Plans (see below)
A film by Christophe Fauchere, Tiroir A Films
– Winner, Best Feature, Colorado Environmental Film Festival
– Merit Award for Scientific Content, Montana Cine International Film Festival
– Merit Award for Educational Value, Montana Cine International Film Festival
– Winner, Best Long-Form Documentary, Festival de Cine Ecologico y de la Naturaleza de Canarias, Spain