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I Am - A Movie Review
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I Am  -  A Movie Review

"I Am" is a documentary just released on Netflix, created by Hollywood film maker Tom Shadyac. Director of comedies Bruce Almighty and Ace Ventura. In this searching documentary Tom asks two of life's most cerebral questions, "what's wrong with our world and what can we do about it?"

Tom would have been content to make another "laugh fest" and not get into the serious world of documentaries but when a traumatic bike accident lands him in the hospital, he has time to reflect on life's most meaningful questions. He suffers from a concussion that causes severe depression. When traditional and alternative therapies don't work he soon welcomes death. In his reflective state he is forced to evaluate his own contribution to life and the values and beliefs that shaped his world.

In a moment of clarity Tom comes to realize that the game that he is so good at winning, which he thought would help heal the world, might very well be what is destroying it. After months of isolation his symptoms start to recede and as soon as he is able to travel, he gathers a small film crew together and heads off to ask some of the worlds greatest minds about life's most complex challenges.

Tom questions today's leading historians, philosophers, and spiritual leaders about man's endemic illness. The answers are unexpected but simple explanations for the state of our world today. The conversations are filled with intelligent insight that prompts all of us to consider our role in life. I was immediately forced to question my perceptions of nature, Darwin's theory of evolution, and our fascination with competition and survival.

Concluding that the world has a fundamental problem that causes all other problems, Tom's theory is supported by thought provoking quotes from Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others. David Suzuki, scientist and author of the book "The Sacred Balance" explains something called the "ethnosphere" (a scientific slang word that describes all people's of the planet being connected from the past, present, and future).

The movie proposes that man's greed is an illness. This idea brought a new awareness of myself and the world that I hadn't considered before. The documentary is spotted with good humor and realism. Throughout the movie we are reminded of our need for love. Challenging us to look at the world as one entity. The difference between mother nature and man is "Nature only takes as much as it needs".

This movie is presented very well and beautifully photographed from exotic locations all over the world. It is a mindful documentary that never talks over the audiences head and is easy to understand. The message is very simple.

After the completion of the movie Tom, a wildly successful Hollywood film maker that seemed to have it all, makes serious life style changes and adopts a new philosophy. You may too. I know I did.


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