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Fairytales of Growth | Documentary Review

by Natalia Tokarska
(Warsaw)

Fairytales of Growth | Documentary Review

In the first few minutes of the documentary "Fairytales of Growth", we can see and hear multiple speeches combined with lots of natural disasters transferred to the screen.

These are not just pictures, but a warning that our planet is slowly dying, and these are also not only pictures but facts about ongoing situations on our rotting planet.

Significant environmental figures can be heard at the beginning of the film such as Greta Thunberg, Antonio Gutteres, and Maria Marcet.

It is mentioned what our current generation is going through.

Young people are not thinking about their friends and what they are going to wear to a Friday birthday party, but worrying if they would survive within the next 12 years.

It is drastically scary how at such a young age, such as 15, you’re already forced by your planet to think about the issues you’ve never should have this age. The economies directed for growth and the seek of money has become the natural standard for countries and individuals, forgetting about the priority which is our ableness to live on this planet.

No planet = no wealth.

Industrialization, consumptionism, capitalism being practically created and discovered in our community.

The UK became the giant of Industrialization in 1750 and began producing goods on a massive scale, to later on export all of them around the world. But the things that bring us some income, costs us much more – our planet where we live on.

People wanting profit became monsters and enslaved hundreds of millions of color people to work for them as a “cheap labor”.

On the call to rich countries consume less and change their living, they responded with “the poor countries are the ones who needs to consume more in order to become more green. The GDP is what needs to be changed, because how can we change our consumptionism when even progress measure is about how much money and income we get.

So to overall summarize the documentary it is the change of mindset that has to happened in order to save our blindfolded society from disasters coming our way.


The critique

The author of the documentary wanted to bring awareness on a larger scale gathering many videos and speeches, showing a drastic image of where we are going with our consumptionism hiding behind splendid “economic growth”.

There’s a lot of work put in as we can see multiple interviews and videos fit into the work.

There are multiple aspects thought through and the problems we’re facing at the moment. For example a vicious circle in which we closed ourselves and, like missing children, we cannot or do not want to get out of it.

What interested me very deeply was the aspect I never thought about. The author showed that for 25% of saved energy and increased efficiency, there is another 25% increase in demand or need for energy. That is where we got lost in our consumptionism.

We also get to see how our dreamland could work and why it cant happen. The thing is that we are absolutely unable to transition fossil fuels into renewable energy sources without the increase of energy demand, as we're already on the edge of global warming and many disasters coming our way.

The perfect solution presented in the documentary is lowering compsumism. The problem is that it is not really in the interest of our planet's wealthy leaders to decrease consumptionism and demand as that’s where they get their power. So as it means less money for them there isn’t any agreement for that.

We even get to know the idea presented by the richest which is BECC’S – planting trees, getting energy from their burning and taking out the CO2 from the atmosphere placing it under the ground.

I don’t know what you think but, for me it sounds more like a another huge disaster of us getting blowed out in the atmosphere while our planet burst like a bank.

The issue of the BECC’S is also decreasing diversity of foods, increasing prices and many people unhappy with the solution.

Another stage of the scenario present us the idea of degrowth.

It is the aim of our economy we must create before our world destructs itself.

The most significant advantage of this documentary is that we get to know the geographers' solution and many other scientists found over the years.

First stage is leaving GDP behind and changing the measure of development. That’s where we were mostly wrong. And it shows! We even measure progress and development by money which is fundamentally destructive.

And what we also need to accomplish to create and build the new better economy is to change how we circulate and. Produce the money. In our countries.

As it is pointed out – everyone needs a job, resources and household income to take care of themselves without being dependent on consumption and industrialism. Because instead of giving to the poor, money is the better thing to connect them into the market and give them real opportunities to create something themselves. They don’t need our money but access to education, healthcare, food and household.

So if massive consumption is the problem how do we get rid of it? The author also gives us the answer for that issue!

As it is known for many years now, the better the quality and being abler to repair our daily use things the more significant decrease in consumption as it is based on our phones, for example, stopping working in every five years.

In fact it is even proven in the video that if 10% of the richest gave away only 7% of their wealth to the poorest. The poverty would be needed within few years.

So the actual solution for our problems is equality and prioritize not of a human above money.

Great quotes


  • “When soil gets exhausted and workers revolve then you move somewhere else” – and with this sentence the whole idea of how consumism works, was described.
  • “What kind of growth is it to produce the world on the edge of destroying itself.”
  • “You may be able to fool the voters, but not the atmosphere” – Donella Meadows
  • “The only way to encore future for our grandchildren is to stop getting richer”


Fairytales of Growth | Full Documentary




About Fairytales of Growth Documentary

A film on Climate Change, Degrowth and System Change.

The effects and risks of climate change are compelling young people the world round to call upon radical system change as the only solution to avoid a catastrophic collapse. This film looks at the role economic growth has had in bringing about this crisis, and explores the alternatives to it, offering a vision of hope for the future and a better life for all within planetary boundaries.

Featuring Jason Hickel, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Wendy Harcourt, Giorgos Kallis, Marta Conde, Alnoor Ladha, Filka Sekulova, Federico Demaria, Rupert Read, Tokata Iron Eyes, Maria Marcet and Greta Thunberg. Original score by Marvin Dez and Oliver King.

Official Website: Fairytales of Growth

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Mar 15, 2021
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by: Natalia Tokarska

I give this documentary a four star rating.

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