Placed in a fictional future, The Age of Stupid highlights the apparent insane attitudes and behavior of our age toward environmental problems. The film illustrates the dire situation and potential consequences if we continue ignoring the signs of a coming environmental disaster and don’t find a way to effectively implement solutions.
More than the insanity and possible consequences shown by the film though, the instances of environmental racism and oppression came to the fore for me. In the profit driven race to control resources, corporate greed is running rampant on those who are least able to resist. This was apparent in the health centre in Nigeria being neglected and ultimately unfinished, the gas flares, and oil spills affecting the health and sustenance of the poor. Even more tragic and incomprehensible was the massacre of a village where Shell planned on drilling (Armstrong, 2009).
My reaction to the film was the thought that we are living not only in an age of stupid, but even more so in an age of addiction (if the two can be separated). Addicted to the idea of being able to find security on this dangerous planet, we seek materialistic progress, comfortable and luxurious lifestyles, and exorbitant profits and wealth for the few. It seems that no price is too high for the next ‘fix.’ Killing and destroying remains the route to riches. If we continue to follow this path, not only will the planet be depleted and robbed of its life sustaining functions, the quality of life for the poor will suffer and be made even worse. Like any other addiction, life will eventually be forfeited, even while it is taken little by little along the way in the quest for some imagined but unattainable goal of security.
Armstrong, F. (Director). (2009). The Age of Stupid [Motion picture]. New Zealand.