Documentary: ‘I Am’ (Updated)

Documentary: ‘I Am’ (Updated)

Apr 25

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I AM, a prismatic and probing exploration of our world, what’s wrong with it, and what we can do to make it better, represents Tom Shadyac’s first foray into non-fiction following a career as one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners, with such successful titles as “Ace Ventura,” “Liar Liar,” and “Bruce Almighty” to his credit. I AM recounts what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged a changed man. Disillusioned with life on the A-list, he sold his house, moved to a mobile home community, and decided to start life anew. Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a camera crew, Shadyac embarks upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live. Appearing on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig, Shadyac meets with a variety of thinkers and doers — remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, and faith — including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch. An irrepressible Everyman who asks many questions but offers no easy answers, he takes the audience to places it has never been before, and presents even familiar phenomena in completely new and different ways.

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RELATED LINK:

I Am Website

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3 comments

  1. I just came back from seeing the film. Here are my first impressions and I’d like to hear what others have to say.

    Lots of Desmund Tutu, a little Dalai Lama, Dean Radin, and a bunch of other scientists who we’ve read or listened to. They said a couple of times that they knew this sounded new age-ie but this really is now Pure Science and boils down to — we are wired for cooperation as opposed to competition — and a democratic way of running our tribes. They showed how too much “stuff” is considered a “mental illness” and went back to the indigenous ways as the healthy role model and even showed this way of being among many herds of animals where no one leads but there is a “democratic” vote.
    The highlight for me, was their interviews with the people from the Institute of Heart Math. Their graphics to demonstrate how the heart knows before any other part of us — was exciting. I’ve been studying books from this institute and have bought their biofeedback equipment to teach my body how to respond differently. I am also using it with our patients who suffer with PTSD.To see this in a motion picture was exciting.

    I am still not sure about its politics at the end. I have to think about that a lot more. It has an edge that feels too much like revolution instead of evolution.

    This documentary is full of the best of mankind and many of the values that Near-Death Experiencers espouse, I being one of them. But there is something that makes me uneasy. It reminds me of the family that had to take their relative who had just had an NDE to court because he was giving every thing away. I guess what I’m feeling is a sense of “all or none.” I liked when they talked about each of us extending ourselves to one other person — random acts of Kindness (my words here) but it got to feel extreme at times too. So Shadyac gave up his 27,000 sq. foot house and moved into a double wide trailer. That’s cool for him — But frankly, I have a beautiful home — not huge but I worked hard for it and I’m not moving out. I do help people all the time whether they can afford to pay me or not. I don’t turn anyone away that wants help and is willing to do what it takes to help themselves heal.

    I’d love to hear what others think after then see this documentary.

  2. Barbara, thanks for posting your impressions about “I Am” here. It is playing now in our local theater. I plan to see it shortly and will now carry your thoughts about the movie into the theater with me…

  3. Clint Summer

    Sounds like he asks some good questions but fails to get good answers: i.e., in-depth, definitive answers that point clearly to how we begin to move toward a truly cooperative/democratic way of living and society (even on a small scale).
    I may actually go see it though.

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