The new Transition Network movie has been out for a while now, and I’ve gotten a chance to see it and show it a few times. Whenever I show IT 2.0, I love to localize it at the end, which goes as follows:
- The Hill District has a time bank/community owned business, the Ujamaa Collective
- The East End Brewing Company did a community loan program (0% interest, mostly paid back in beer) to finance their move to a bigger brewery
- In terms of things failing, TransitionPGH went through an initial period of good momentum, but then spent several years puttering along, and we’re now trying to reboot it.
- As part of that, we’re actively putting together a Trashcatchers festival - if you’d like your neighborhood to participate, leave a comment/let us know!
- Finally, lest you think that alternative local currencies are entirely a British thing, there is a fully fledged one in the US (in Vermont) and a latent one that we could pick up and formalize here in Pittsburgh, the Yinzer.
In talking with some other folks who have been around the T. movement for a while now, opinions have been mixed - some people like the first one more, some the second. Some are simply tired of the second, having seen it (or just their section) too many times.
The two movies are very different, not only in production, but in their goals. The first was aiming to talk about big issues, the need for action, and what that action might look like if done at the local level. The new movie takes all of that motivation, puts in 10 minutes at the beginning of the film, and then shows a pile of examples of what that action has looked like at the local level. It’s more tangible, often more accurate - talking about how things sometimes fail? brilliant and important - but it has its weaknesses. It tries to engage people from all parts of the process within the same hour. It lacks clear action items at the end of the film. It’s full of folks with British (or Kiwi) accents (the first one was too :-P).
The companion piece to the movie is the new Transition Companion book, which has many of the same stories (though not Pittsburgh), and the same framework, but it avoids all three of these weaknesses - more action pieces, no need to go through it all at once, and less sense of anglo-centrism (I mention the accents because when you’re showing this in an American city, it seems harder to relate).
I like the new movie quite a bit, but I think I’d show the whole thing to a bunch of folks that were already interested in engaging in Transition, and might go back to showing the first movie as an initial event - or possibly some of both. But the context here - the localization afterwards, and a bit about what Transition is about in my own words, and what TransitionPGH is all about, at the beginning goes a long way.
What are your thoughts on the film?