I watched this documentary the other week. It really made me think about how cultural imperialism (ie. capitalism) might just not be a great thing for economics going forward. Work through this with me – if China can innovate quicker because of the sharing of ideas and materials, and capitalism restricts the sharing of ideas thanks to intellectual property, patents and copyright, how will western countries be able to keep up? Maybe they’ve lost already? In fact I think we’re seeing that the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries ascend to superpower status not on military might, but on economic. This, to me, is a very clear decline of the Western civilization that we’re living through.
The other thing about this is the absolutely stunning (I assume) drone shots, and the generally beautiful cinematography of the entire thing. I’ve been falling back on some of my media development background lately, and after years of hating films (mostly because we analyzed The Manchurian Candidates opening sequence over 14 weeks in frame by frame detail and that arduous process singlehandedly destroyed my ability to turn off the critical framework) I’ve finally come around to enjoying the beauty of stuff like this without thinking about how to make it better. Educational media needs to become far more literate with this sort of visual storytelling because it’s cheap to do now and really, really accessible. Every place of higher education has a media group – and they can do this if you can’t. It used to require thousands of dollars of equipment, studios, editing suites, but really if you have a modern DSLR (or mirrorless compact) and can get good photos, you can probably get good video. Sound might take a cellphone and a post-production sync with the camera – but that’s easy enough in iMovie, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Camtasia.