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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 February 2012
Hollywood blockbuster filmmaker Tom Shadyac's documentary "I AM" challenges our preconceptions and celebrates humankind's indomitable spirit. A cycle accident that left him incapacitated and a life-long passion for truth helped him discover our story about the world is a lie.
He poses two practical questions: what's wrong with the world and what can we do to make it better? This non-fiction film combines profound, deep ideas from great thinkers, humor and Tom's own extraordinary story.
With great wit, warmth, curiosity and masterful story telling Tom shows what science is revealing. He says, "My hope is that I AM is a window into Truth, a glimpse into the miracle, the mystery and magic of who we really are, and of the basic nature of the connection and unity of all things."
Tom's interviews with scientists, psychologists, artists, environmentalists, authors, activists, philosophers, entrepreneurs and others reveal how for tens of thousands of years Indigenous cultures taught a very different story about humankind's inherent goodness. Now, following the ancient wisdom science is discovering we really are hardwired for connection and compassion. The heart, not the brain, is our primary organ of intelligence. From the Vagus Nerve which releases oxytocin when witnessing a compassionate act, to the Mirror Neuron which causes us to literally feel another's pain. Human consciousness and emotions affect the physical world.
Cooperation not competition is nature's most fundamental operating principle. Time-lapse photography shows consensus decision-making is the norm amongst insects, birds, deer and primates.
Research shows we function better and remain healthy when expressing the positive emotions of love, care, compassion and gratitude. Darwin in the "Decent of Man"uses the word love 95 times and the phrase "survival of the fittest" only twice. Darwin said humankind's real power comes in our ability to perform complex tasks together, to sympathize and to cooperate.
Greed, war, hunger, poverty and the environmental crisis are symptoms of a larger endemic problem. In some cultures gross materialism is equated with insanity and money is not seen as a pathway to happiness. As Gandi said, "Live simply, so others might simply live." Take only what you need as the remainder is needed by others. Tom shows in the film how nature takes only what it needs. The giant redwood doesn't take all the nutrients from the soil, only what it needs. The lion doesn't kill every gazelle, only what it needs.
Tom says change begins with a deeper transformation. It's as much about what can I do as who I can be. When I transform my being action naturally follows.
Best selling author Marianne Williamson calls "I AM" a spark of light and a work of love.
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on 16 October 2012
This is an interesting watch, full of promise and advice from thinkers about what our philosophy for life should be and that it should not focus on money.
These thinkers were not sourced from all around the world, 99% were home grown. It would have been good to get more varied perspectives from different cultures who, more than likely, would have been even harsher critics of the 'American Dream.'
I agree with the point being made, but this point is always diluted when we are preached to by someone with unimaginable wealth - Suddenly, when you have complete finacial security, money is not important.- Tom Shadyac apparently now lives in a mobile home, but I was left wondering what he has done with all his houses and wealth. I'm not saying he should or shouldn't give it all away, but having used himself as an example it would have been good to know how far he'd gone.
I'd also be interested in where the profits for this film went, since its maker clearly does not need more money and claims to have no yearning for it. If the profit was handed to the more needy, then the spirit of the film will have been adheared to.
Ultimately, the film should ignite debate about what is important to us. America is a country with a lower literacy rate than its neighbour, Cuba, a country it keeps in poverty with a spiteful blockade. Despite a lack of money and medicine, Cuba has better healthcare and education systems than the Superpower next door. Shadyac's message should also be considered during the current election campaigns, a fake circus, believed to be costing more than $3billion dollars. The more money there is in politics the less democracy there can be. This $3billion could be used to educate or medicate, making a real difference to people's lives and creating ripples of happiness around a country that seems to exist as little more than a market place for large corporations and wealthy entrepeneurs like Tom Shadyac; before he saw the light.
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on 4 July 2013
I stumbled across this film by "accident". It is an incredible movie a personal journey of one person but a journey we are all taking. If you like to discover what is really happening on the planet and what your role is you will love it. Despite all the negativity out there there is a lot of positive things happening as we grow and adapt and search for direction. The best film I have seen in years and you will want to share it.
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on 7 April 2013
I would recommend this DVD to everyone......who is going through a period of disillusionment, and realizing that our happiness isn't coming from material wealth. There is a worldwide awareness coming through (it has been happening for many years now) and more people are questioning the EXCESSIVE material values. The world is in a great transition and the INFORMATION found in this DVD is confirmation for those who are feeling the changes.
Hopefully it will help people all over the world to stop giving their power away and start taking 'personal responsibilityfor their own lives'.
Well done Tom Sadyac for having the courage to bring these issues to light.
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on 21 October 2013
Others have gone into detail about the film so I won't. What I will say though is that it was absolutely brilliant. Clear, impactful, honest and inspiring... I would highly recommend it to all and sundry as an insightful, honest but extremely uplifting film. I appreciate so much that he made this film and that I "discovered" it, I hope many others will too.
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on 3 February 2013
Funny, insightful, and inspiring! I would recommend this to anyone seeking a more meaningful life and how to help the world through dark times.
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on 1 November 2015
It is the movie what I wish to share with my 4 children. But I can't. They are getting reprogramed now by FFWPU Moonies for begging proselytizing and to become sycophants . Well if someone will see them later on in life tell them that is not a remote control and poverty for someone else. Movie is nice experience to have that some other people have self-reflection on the Planet and environment we share . A few months ago BHO met at White House Sir David Attenborough naturalist and they both agreed that greatest Danger to this planet Are WE ? we the people , they have not specified who by the colour or the name just the people who do not travel in the First Business class . Well and is the difference between DNA of those who travel in the first and second class and those who are crossing Mediterrainien sea in dingies as their homelands are destroyed by American and Western security homelands managements? It's nice to watch this intellectually conscientious movie its spiritual almost budhist colours and it's stratified platform for the first world to view - is good that it was made . Its makers were made by system the system what Einstein said is based on thinking what is not conductive to future and should change . Is thinking changed while machines are telling us what we should think cheer for. Is it sanitised ? Are we drones of someone else? Should the First world wait for the third one to catch up ? in consumption or in Philosophy ? well they have not yet the first world experience ??..and movie does not say - perhaps my children and others should have got a chance to see each other for themselves. I would like to show this dvd to my kids but so far they are in New Zealand Moonies brainwashing universe.
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on 17 May 2014
Loved the dvd, enlightening to know we are all connected in love and life. Excellent presentation with a feeling of empathy to what he is saying. Important for everyone to watch to understand the meaning to life.
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on 28 May 2014
This was supported by some excellent science. There were so many points where I wanted to stop and explore a bit further. I will definitely be recommending this (or even gifting it) to people I know. Totally uplifting, inspirational and transforming experience. I will certainly be thinking about my share of the world's wealth and how I can be in order to enrich the lives of others. My only criticism is that, for me, it seemed to lose its punch a bit towards the end. The message got a bit dilute and not as neatly tied up as the rest of the film, but then that was a hard act to follow.
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on 21 June 2016
What a fantastic film. I have watched it several times by now and occasionally watch it all over again when things are dragging me down.
It's very inspiring and uplifting. It's thought provoking, motivational and invites to talk about it. I have given away several copies as gifts by now and will continue to do so and they all loved this film. ...Ever entered a room with people in it and were able to immediately pick up whether there was grief or joy or anger 'in the air'? Or ever seen the emptiness in the eyes of someone who has it all? It makes me sad to think that those who would really benefit from this film will probably never get to watch it.
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