(2006, GB, 88 min) Dir Alice Werkherser. Cast Anthony Beckett.
“If the world had’ve paid attention to us forty, fifty years ago then we wouldn’t be in the fix we are now,” is the opinion of the infamous Anthony Beckett. Once the head of the Anti-Life Brigade prior to its disbanding in 1975 he is recorded here, at the age of 82, as the head of a newer incarnation of the same idea in PopCon, the Population Control lobbying group. “Pollution, global warming, habitat loss, the massive extinctions we’re witnessing, food shortages, greater war and resource scarcity,” runs his argument, “The one thing that’s causing all of this is us, the engineer species of every Earth environment, and the only way that we could stop it is to reduce the stress we’re placing on those environments. That means at the least some form of population control and, at the extreme end, the liquidation of some of the population. It seems foolish to try and face down the world’s problems without acknowledging this.” The centrepiece of the film is his attendance at the World Population Forum where you get a chance to appreciate how much vitriol he and those of like mind are subject to, both from those who oppose his philosophy and those, like the scary Death for Life organisation, who don’t think he goes far enough. A dark and serious film about a man with very deep convictions that is leavened only by clips of Beckett’s own contribution to film, 1974’s unintentionally hilarious Is Your Life Worth Living?