Announcement of a New Documentary Film to be Made: Digital Tsunami: Big Tech, Big Brother and the Prophetic Warnings of Marshall McLuhan


Marshall McLuhan by Yousuf Karsh, 1974 (Copyright by the Karsh Estate)

This documentary will examine how toxic elements of our digital environment are dramatically transforming society in negative ways — just as the prophetic, popular futurist Marshall McLuhan predicted 60 years ago. We’ll examine the unforeseen social and political problems caused by the digital revolution, and highlight the need for laws and regulations to protect citizens, especially the most vulnerable.

After making ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE and THE CORPORATE COUP D’ÉTAT, I wanted my next film to be about the growing digital dystopia that is engulfing all of us. DIGITAL TSUNAMI: Big Tech, Big Brother, and the Prophetic Warnings of Marshall McLuhan is the film I came up with, and I believe it can make a difference. Like THE CORPORATE COUP D’ÉTAT and ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE, it will document injustice and societal harm being overlooked or underestimated because people are not seeing the big picture and historical context. It will complete a trilogy of films bringing critical thought to crucial problems faced by society, galvanizing audiences and leaving them determined to take action. Many of us are aware that if we don’t fix our planet’s natural, physical ecology, we’re doomed. Fewer people realize that if we don’t fix our planet’s “media ecology” we may also be doomed. The good news is, we don’t have to be doomed. We can fix things. But only if we get mad as hell and fight back. The great social reformer Frederick Douglass, when asked what advice he’d give a young person wanting justice, replied: “Agitate, agitate, agitate”. I want this film to leave audiences fighting mad and ready to agitate. As I began researching this project, I was surprised to find that the famed “media guru” Marshall McLuhan had warned of these problems back in the sixties, even though the press inaccurately portrayed him as a cheerleader for the electronic/digital revolution. I also learned about an international organization of scholars and authors called the Media Ecology Association who were following in McLuhan’s footsteps. I spoke with many of them at the MEA global conference in Toronto, and their insights inform our extended sizzle reel. Password: Tsunami I believe passionately that critical thought can lead to meaningful action and change that will tame the Digital Tsunami. If McLuhan were alive today I think he’d say exactly what he said in 1966: “The only alternative is to understand everything that’s going on, and then counter and neutralize it as much as possible, turn off as many buttons as you can, and frustrate them as much as you can… I don’t choose to just sit and let the juggernaut roll over me.”
Peter Raymont – Executive Producer
Producer, director, journalist, writer, Peter Raymont has produced and directed over 100 films and TV series during a 44-year career. Raymont’s films have been honoured with 52 international awards including 13 Geminis (45 nominations), Gold and Silver Hugos and The Sesterce d’Argent, among others. His documentary feature, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire received the 2007 Emmy for Best Documentary and the 2006 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. Raymont’s films are often provocative investigations of “hidden worlds” in politics, the media, and big business. His films are informed with a passion for human rights and social justice. A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman (2007) and Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (2009) were shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Long Form Documentary. They both premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. A Promise to the Dead won 9 awards, including the DGC Award for Best Documentary and the 2008 Academy of Canadian Cinema’s Donald Brittain Award for Best Social Political Documentary. Genius Within, co-directed by long-time collaborator Michèle Hozer, was released theatrically in Canada, USA, Germany and Australia. Raymont recently co-directed and co-produced Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power and Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, which was selected as the opening night film for TIFF 2019. Peter Raymont is presently the Filmmaker in Residence at Massey College in the University of Toronto.

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