We're All Going To Die
A film by Ben Knight
You might as well embrace the dread.
Ben is worried. Overwhelmed by the world’s encroaching crises, he travels from Brandenburg to London to Kansas to the Yucatan peninsula and many places in between, learning from those preparing for social and ecological collapse. Call them preppers or call them doomers, the collapse community is bigger than you think, and growing all the time. Some have even passed through their personal extinction awareness and come out alive the other side.
So what does Ben do? Where does he go? And is peace even possible in the crater of someone else’s extinction?
From the director
I abandoned people to make this film.
I live in Europe. About a decade ago, the financial system here nearly collapsed. It was scarier than we thought it was. Though we didn’t notice at the time, there was a day when the banks told the governments they were going to turn off the cash machines.
Around that time, the word crisis changed its meaning. It used to be one event, a cataclysm that brings relief or death. Then the dictionary added a new meaning: Crisis became an ongoing state of anxiety, a sense that everything is going more and more wrong.
Over the last ten years, the crises have been accumulating, encroaching on us, eating away like an acid at the carapace of daily life that protects us from chaos.
At some point, tired and broken-hearted, the carapace had grown too thin. So I went out to prepare.
From the producer
Reading Bill McKibben’s book The End of Nature as a teen, I became a doomer early in life. I learned how we had fucked up the chemistry of every corner of the world with the byproducts of our industrial civilisation. From Everest to the Mariana Trench and everywhere in-between, we were systematically turning this orb into a dead, uninhabitable lump of rock. Thirty years on, the worst dystopian forecasters were proven correct: animal and plant diversity is still being extinguished at a stunning rate, while human life has become crushingly artificial and false, as well as materially and/or spiritually impoverished. Intractible hyper-problems all point in one direction: the end. And the list goes on: obscene oligarchal wealth, apocalyptic levels of inequality, out-of-control AI-led tech corps, Donald Trump and co., resurgent racism, mass idiocracy, the refugee crisis, climate tipping points wherever you look. Things are not looking so hot.
When Ben told me about We’re All Going to Die, the project immediately spoke to me. Ben was feeling what I was feeling – but instead of stewing in self-pity and frustration about near-future collapse, he let his dread lead him down the rabbit hole of collapse preparation, caused him to engage with the “end of the world” by engaging with people who have made it their mission to prep physically, emotionally and spiritually for the coming end times.
Working with his fabulous crew – Lea, Ingo, Amit – Ben did what he set out to do: confront our private and collective fears and emerge at the end of this film journey a changed, bigger and less fearful person. We can’t halt the end of the world, we can’t halt the end of ourselves – only the way we live with that knowledge.
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