Top positive review
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An inspiring, must see, life-changing film
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.