GrowthBustersBRATTLEBORO, Vt. — The first Vermont public screening of  “Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth” — followed by an interactive discussion with filmmaker David Gardner, is set for 3 p.m. on Wed., May 30, at the Latchis Theater, part of the second-annual Slow Living Summit. The showing of the 56-minute documentary is free.

“Growthbusters” tackles a taboo topic: Is growth un-American?  The Population Bomb author and Stanford University biologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich declares “This could be the most important film ever made.”  Gardner made the film through the non-profit Citizen-Powered Media project, even raising the last $20,000 he needed via an Internet crowdfunding service.

“We’ve outgrown the planet,” ecological footprint pioneer Willam Rees states in the film.

Formatted like a Michael Moore documentary – blending satire and hopeful humor with important messages – the filmmaker  runs for local office in his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo., on a platform of no growth – in one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The film juxtaposes Gardner’s personal experiences with clips from dozens of interviews with more than 40 environmental and economic thought leaders, including Saleem Ali, Herman Daly, Ehrlich, Robert Engelman, Richard Lamm, Bill McKibben, Chris Martenson, Juliet Schor and Gus Speth.

Following this shortened, 56-minute director’s cut we’ll meet and question the director — via Skype videoconference.

Gardner was in Montreal on May15 to present the film — five years in the making — at the International Conference on Degrowth in the Americas.  The film questions whether perpetual economic growth is possible, or even desirable. “We have reached the point where the benefits of economic growth exceed the costs,” Gardner says. “As a result, things no longer go better with growth. And continuing to pursue it will sentence our children to lives of conflict over increasingly scarce resources.”

The full-length film, which debuted Nov. 2 in Washington D.C., is an official selection of the Soho International Film Festival.

Growthbusters examines the beliefs, attitudes and propaganda causing people to ignore evidence that perpetual growth is not possible or desirable.  In it, Boston College sociologist Juliet Schor and environmentalist author Bill McKibben discuss how the relentless drive to earn, spend and consume is not making people happier.