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Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976

Five Minutes to Midnight

Five Minutes to Midnight

A Film on the State of the World

Screening in the Memorial Theatre, noon, Monday 4 October.

Drawing of machinery consuming animals with a man sitting in the foreground

Time is Running out for the Human Race................

The world problems of poverty, over-population, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, un-employment and international trade are all linked together. These global problems demand global solutions. "Five Minutes to Midnight" graphically shows these problems and the urgent need for international cooperation in tackling them Now before it is too late for all of us.

Population and Poverty

By the year 2000 when the population of the world who currently make up the 'have-nots' of our planet will be very nearly 90 per cent of the world's population. In such circumstances there can be no hope for global peace and stability.

"The deep poverty of two men out of three in this immensely rich world remains our basic problem. I believe the nations have perhaps only ten years left to solve these problems or perish."

- U Thant former UN General Secretary

The root cause of the population problem is poverty. Poor parents tend to have many children because their kids provide an insurance policy for the future. Children are seen by their parents as their only means of support in old age. Children, too, are useful when they are young because they can do all sorts of work. But in the rich countries children are no longer wanted for economic reasons and in fact cost their parents a lot more.

"Earth provdes enough to satisfy every man's need but not for every man's greed."

— Gandhi

drawing of a man hoarding a pile of cash

The Film

"Five Minutes to Midnight" is a film produced by a British organisation - World Focus. This organisation was recently set up to research and make special documentary films on the problems of world development and the state of our world today.

The film was shot in Latin America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, the Far East (including China), and Europe and America. Financial backing was received from the British. Netherlands, West Germany and other governments, as well as from the United Nations and the World Bank. There were also a number of contributions from voluntary aid organisations. The New Zealand government gave $10,000.

Research assistance was provided by the World Bank, Overseas Development Institute, Institute of Development Studies. UNDP, WHO, FAO, and many individual experts.

The film took two years and $400,000 to make.

World Focus has no political or religious affiliations Its directors - Alan Hart, Ian McFarlane, and Tigger Stack - are highly skilled professional reporters and film makers with international reputations. Aware of the urgency of the need for an internationally coordinated assault on world poverty, they decided to join "the crusade for commonsense for the sake of common humanity". "Five Minutes to Midnight" was World Focus's first project and is available for the use of all the people involved in the fight for world development and human survival.

"There will either be a common investment in a future for all - or there will be no future for anyone."

Erhard Eppler, former Minister in the Federal German Government.

On behalf of the External Aid Dividison of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Wellington Corso Centre is arranging booking of "Five Minutes to Midnight" for organisations wishing to screen the film to their members. Write to Corso, P.O. Box 27017. Upper Willis Street, or phone 844-560