This is again, for anyone skeptical of Ruppert, kind of a small victory. Much of what's so gripping about Collapse is witnessing Ruppert's indignance that so many people — both common and powerful — think it's worthwhile to nitpick at his doomsday predictions, when the problems underlying them are quite real. "I don't deal in conspiracy theories," he snaps. "I deal in conspiracy fact."
However dispiriting most of Ruppert's predictions are, he offers small, if perverse, glimmers of hope, foreseeing a back-to-the-land movement (comparable to events in recent Cuban history) that may coincide with a Darwinistic phase of societal upheaval. (If that doesn't offer enough false comfort, the film's final intertitles prove an additional punch in the gut.)
In the flourishing genre of red-flag essay documentaries, Smith's film is immersive and uniquely provocative. Regardless of how persuasive it is, it will surely alter how you read the news.
Christopher Gray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLLAPSE | directed by Chris Smith | produced by Kate Noble | released by Vitagraph and FilmBuff | screening at SPACE Gallery, in Portland | Dec 9 @ 7:30 pm | $7 |space538.org
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