The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Morgan, Faith. The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. Yellow Springs, OH: Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, 2006. 53 min.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call “The Special Period.” The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope. (Source: Official Film Website)

© 2006 Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions. Trailer used with permission.

This film is available at the Rachel Carson Center Library (RCC, 4th floor, Leopoldstrasse 11a, 80802 Munich) for on-site viewing only. For more information, please contact

About the Environmental Film Profiles collection

Further readings: 
  • Hartmann, Thom. Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. Rev. and updated ed. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004. First published 1998.
  • Heinberg, Richard. PowerDown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2004.
  • Wackernagel, Mathis, and William Rees. Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 1996.