The documentary “The history of things” tells us all about the material economy and presents a very critical perspective of the consumerist system, as well as teaches that many social and environmental problems are interrelated, and finally, urges all humanity to create a sustainable and just world.
Most populations have one element in common, and it is the excessive attachment to products of any kind, so that more and more we become more dependent, and we end up obsessed with consumerism, although this is associated more with technological products and planned obsolescence.
But, perhaps we ignore that the products that we buy and then dispose of in some way or another cause damage to communities and nature, they also go through different stages: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. This entire process is called a materials economy, however, it is in crisis because it consists of a bilateral mechanism (corporation and government) and also because we are inserted in a limited partnership.
It is vitally important to highlight that in each phase of the material economy, fundamental problems predominate:
- In extraction: trees are cut down, all the water is used, some species of animals and plants are eradicated, in effect, the planet’s resources are consumed.
- In production: energy is used to mix chemicals with natural resources to make toxic products.
- In distribution: the aim here is to commercialize all toxic and polluting waste as quickly as possible. The way to sell this scrap is to keep prices too low so that people buy and inventory keeps moving.
- In consumerism: consuming is the imperative factor in this system, since 99% of the things we collect, extract, manufacture, transport, will be waste after 6 months have elapsed.
- In the disposal: garbage is produced daily, then this waste is burned, thus releasing toxins that pollute the air, water and land.
- Original title: The Story of Stuff.
- Year: 2007.
- Director: Louis Fox.
- Screenplay: Annie Leonard, Jonah Sachs, Louis Fox.
- Duration: 21 minutes.
- Country: United States.