The Dutch Buddhist Channel (BOS-BUDDHIST BROADCASTING FOUNDATION) has produced numerous documentaries over the years. One recent production, titled Off the Grid, in particular has caused some controversy. It is about Americans who can no longer, for a variety of reasons including both choice and necessity, continue to live in the capitalist way that they have been. It’s quite a startling documentary and asks some important questions.
My major qualm about it is the appearance of Alex Jones, who is something of a conspiracy type (9-11 “Truther” among other things) as well as a bit of a fear monger. He has his own agenda, despite making some good points, so keep that caveat in mind when he appears. As someone who is attempting to get off the grid though, his inclusion, despite some of his opinions, is in keeping with the production.
From the YouTube channel where I found the entire documentary:
Alexander Oey traveled throughout the United States and filmed communities who are taking matters into their own hands. 50 of the 46 U.S. states are nearly bankrupt. Over 13 million Americans are unemployed. More than 49 million people live below the poverty line.
How was it able to come that far? People seek for their own Utopia outside the financial system and government. Are these communities the right path and solution? Has they found effective alternatives, while governments worldwide are heading to bankruptcy?
The film-maker, in a recent interview said:
“Perhaps the current financial crisis is this big bang. People are starting to see the need of another way of life. Once life will get heavier, we will give up our luxury and we will have to survive on our own. Eventually people will search for alternatives and smaller economies, which are customized and therefore work better, will arise.”
From the same interview:
Originally, the production company Submarine and the Buddhist Broadcasting had the idea to make the journey of the American writer Jack Kerouac. They would follow Americans in their quest of the unknown. Jack Kerouac wrote in the 50s of the last century the cult classic On the Road, in which he describes his travels across the United States and eventually Mexico. The Americans in Kerouac’s book formed the Beat Generation in the 50s. They stood at the cradle of the hippie movement. For Off the Grid Alexander Oey would travel the route of On the Road and he would interview the Beat Generation. This plan suddenly changed; Oey: “The now 80-year-olds weren’t enthusiastic about this. The original plan of the film changed gradually and Off the Grid became a journey through America along people who are trying to find new ways of living together.”
You can watch the whole documentary here: