Review: ‘Living in the Future’s Past’ pins climate change on human culture


Jeff Bridges lends his voice to the climate-change documentary “Living in the Future’s Past,” directed by Susan Kucera, which explores the cultural causes and consequences of climate change.

Relying on a host of talking heads, including astronaut Piers Sellers, Gen. Wesley Clark, Rep. Bob Inglis and an army of scientists and anthropologists, “Living in the Future’s Past” takes a look at climate change as a natural result of our culture as a species. Humans are unlike other species in our mastery of technology, and we’re also deeply social organisms. Our desire to consume, travel and spread, without perceiving the long-term threats facing our planet, is why we’re in the pickle that we’re in.

Rather than relying on scare tactics about the doom and gloom that face us, “Living in the Future’s Past” carefully lays out how our human actions, as a collective organism on the Earth’s surface, naturally has an effect on the planet. The progress we have made as a species has also had devastating effects on our environment and threatened our existence. The cracks in climate change will show first culturally.


Though it is a sobering account, “Living in the Future’s Past” invites us all to consider the real changes that we can make in order to change our culture of consumption, to mindfully examine what we need rather than what we want. While the outlook often seems bleak, the message is to take the future into our own hands — to change our behavior and change the world.


‘Living in the Future’s Past’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Playing: Starts Oct. 5, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills