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on February 5, 2012
After reading the negative reviews on here I decided to write my own in case you are wondering what you'd get out of this movie.
If you are looking for proof that the ONLY way to survive in this planet is by killing eachother, stepping over people and ignoring social issues and calling those who don't crazy, then no, this movie is not for you.
If you have an open heart and know deep in your core that there is evidence all around that what we are doing is NOT working, that we are ALL suffering because we are living life like brainwashed robots, then this movie might be of interst to you... This movie is about the basics, about how we can all tap into our most effortless human instincts and feelings of love, compassion, co-operation etc, and how those are more powerful than you even realize.

What can possibly be wrong with that message???? And why do we need a discussion on who is a real scientist for this?? If someone treats you poorly your whole life and you are miserable, should I require scientific evidence that the other person's treamtment REALLY is the cause..?? Once we start going that road, then no, this movie is the least of your problems because your foundation itself is not all that solid.
If you are of the firm belief that abuse, oppression and unhealthy competition to be the best, to be better than every one else is the way the live life, then yes, you will hate this movie.
For every one else: I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't love this. We as a societly DESPERATLY need more products out there with these kind of messages, particularly for our youth since our adults are so bitter and jaded (as you can clearly see here..) :):)
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on June 12, 2017
This movie is amazing. Funny at times, hopeful at others but in the end, sobering. Who's responsible for being the change we want to see in the world? That question, as well as the most recent develops in the field of neuroscience, health and the interconnectedness of all things are discussed. A must-see for everyone who cares about themselves, their neighbor, the planet, and the cosmos.
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on May 21, 2017
This documentary was very beautiful and has a wonderful meaning that should be shared with the world. I believe for people to start showing love and compassion in the world like it is today that Marc Ian Barasch should make his documentary free, so the seed can be planted, If you know what I mean and people will wake up to the love they each have in them that can be shared to make someone else's life a little better. Plus it feels good to make someone else's life a little better.
I know of one producer that made his documentary free, so the whole world would know the truth about the harm of a pharmaceutical. His name is Shane Kenny and his documentary is called The Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster. This documentary talks of the harm they cause to the central nervous system. These medications cause almost the same symptoms much like Marc Ian Barash's brain damage he had and his suffering that he went through
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on January 20, 2013
I was very pleasantly surprised at many aspects of this movie. In fact, it was so inspiring and so full of ideas and information that deserved serious contimplation that I ended up watching it twice! Be open to suspending your point of view and receptive to thinking of yourself and the world in a completely different way - this film is not out to change your mind, but to give you something to think about. The film's creator, having encountered serious health issues, takes it upon himself to travel the globe in order to interview some of the worlds most intelligent and enlightened minds regarding what's wrong with the world (i.e. mankind), where did we take a wrong turn, and how can we take the small steps needed to arrive at a big change. Understand why humans are connected at their very basic level, why animals are programmed to work together for the good of the whole, and how the human brain and heart are forces in their own right. One concept that particularly sticks with me is that when you disagree with others, rather than wonder what's wrong with them and continue in conflict, take responsibility for asking yourself what can you do to show those folks the right way. In essence, don't angue, continue towards your goal and teach along the way. The visuals are fabulous, the conversations fresh and thought provoking, and the last 15 minutes alone incredible passionate and inspiring. I'd recommend follpwing this up with another film put forth by this films creator, "Happy". Both films will make you think, if not restore your faith in human kind.
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on October 4, 2014
Well everyone seems to love this film; can I say anything different about it? Tom Shadyat directed several successful comedies and made quite a bit of money-then had a bad bike accident followed by a prolongued post-concussive syndrome that left him seriously contemplating suicide. Eventually, after some months of no specific therapy just quiet aloneness, his symptoms began to abate but left him with suddenly serious questions about the meaning of life: his own, humanity's, the earth's etc. He goes on a quest, which he documents, looking for answers from various perspectives ranging from semi-scientific to clearly religious. What he weaves together is a view of the world in which everything is connected (our minds with each other, mind with matter, etc.) and in which the pseudo-Darwinian view that competition and "survival of the fittest" is the natural order of things, is simply a misunderstanding: that yes, competition is a part of life, but it has been way-overemphasized by Western culture, and that cooperation, empathy and a basic equality is really far more important to most life forms, and to our own future survival. Everyone may have their own favorite quote or scene: my own was from Bishop Desmond Tutu: "God says: 'I have ONLY YOU to depend on!' Put another way, we have to stop blaming corporations, conditions, and other people, and start changing the way we ourselves think and act if we hope to restore balance to the world. Yes, it is worth watching, whatever your religious or political beliefs.
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on May 30, 2013
Although the film discusses what I agree are excellent explanations of how humans thrive with cooperation and compassion, I totally disagree with its premise that science is the cause of our misunderstanding and that science states that we and all processes in the Universe are all machines that can be manipulated and controlled. This premise is completely incorrect, and the director fails to realize that he even uses science to explain how incorrect science is. That is quite hypocritical and illogical. Science is nothing more than a process created by humans and carried out by humans to gain information about how the Universe works. It is nothing more than refined logic that results in the most unbiased information as possible, not necessarily truth. It is used to explain HOW things work, not WHY things work. Scientists can only deal with things that are testable and does not in any way claim otherwise. Those that misunderstand science may claim that science can explain untestable phenomena, i.e., spiritual phenomena, but scientists will be quick to correct them. It is those who misunderstand scientists who see it as if science is the problem, yet they will fly in planes, drive in cars, take medications, or go to surgeons to save their very own lives, all of which are a direct result of science. In fact, Science has found that the Universe is indeed extremely complicated and that some things just cannot be explained. And, more importantly, science has led to the conclusion that many populations(collections of species) thrive only through cooperation. And science is at the base of the idea that humans are more cooperative than competitive. Scientific thought is far beyond the days of Darwin. Giving the examples of how "science" has been wrong many times only solidifies the fact that it is always getting more and more accurate by eliminating as much as possible opinions and ego, which allow for failure and testing of alternative explanations. Those that want to use science to support foolish ideas like gaining more money and saying greed is good are completely ignoring all the science that states the opposite. Again, it is therefore humans that are the problem. It is the few "alpha" humans that have childish motives and gain the power to socially engineer the world into thinking they have the correct mindset while the rest of the people are mired in unhappiness trying to attain the same feat. The wise stay away from all of this as much as they can while, ironically, receiving benefit from the exact system they despise. The economy is far from the wise use of resources it is supposed to be, but we as humans have immensely benefited from it. It again is the lack of wisdom from those at the top that don't properly regulate the "economy" and allow the economic motives of the few destroy itself through intense lobbying and downright corruption. The irony is that those on the top who have benefited the most from the economy either see what Shadyac saw early and try to change things, or they see it right before their death as they are either surrounded by human cooperation or isolation for their past. They all feel remorse and see their shortcomings, but very few change. So the questions remains why Shadyac still charges money for this DVD!
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on March 3, 2017
Amazing movie that I've shared with friends. Gave me hope in these troubled times.
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...saw and lived this provocative and life-changing documentary, undoubtedly our world would be a much better place. This is the perfect response to the important life-long question "How, then, shall we live?" In a culture that celebrates youth and superficial values, I particularly loved how Tom interviewed some of the wisest people living today--and in most cases, they were over sixty.

An amazing blessing in my life was when I ran into Tom Shadyac at my daughter's Kenyon College graduation a few weeks after seeing the film (apparently, his nephew was graduating that same day); he was just as gracious and authentic in person as the movie depicted him to be. I can't wait to use it in my English classroom next year, as I am confident that it will be a life-changer.
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on October 15, 2014
After an abundance of amazing reviews, I made this purchase only to be extremely disappointed. Yeah, it was an okay attempt at putting one's life into perspective; but to me, it was a spin-off of The Secret video that was so popular years ago. Same format.....not the same impact. Glad that Mr. Shadyac found his place in the world that he can live with, but not good enough to make me recommend it to anyone. All four adults that were watching this ended up falling asleep on and off throughout the whole thing because it couldn't hold our attention.
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on June 24, 2013
Great doc...had read the book "Life's Operating Manual" by Tom Shadyac and became interested in what else he had done on the topic, like this film. Shadyac seems reluctant in both his book and film to delve too deeply into his personal journey other than bullet points, showing the same footage of his former residence/plane/car repeatedly throughout. I think it might have made his message a little more digestable...we are left to assume or infer how exactly he was unhappy with this lifestyle. BUT perhaps as a private person and perhaps in the interest of time he has focused in this film on the more objective snippets from his interviews strung together with a few interjected animated or montage based parable segways. As a comedy director, I wouldn't say docs are now Shadyac's strong suit by any stretch, especially if you have seen a lot of docs--you may find it lacking, BUT i'm giving it the 5 stars because I genuinely enjoyed the subject matter and the presentation, which I have never seen elsewhere, and it was very linear and easy to understand for what it sets out to accomplish. Would love for him to feature longer pieces of his interviews with these intellectual giants since they are only very quickly introduced with no background and you dont get much of the dialogue, just key responses...for instance, it might have been helpful to explain why interviews with Howard Zinn and Desmond Tutu (for example) are such phenomenal elements to have available in a film especially for younger audiences. There's not enough background there to flesh this out to be massively informative. It is a great teaser though, and I hope anyone who sees it takes the initiative to find out more about Shadyac's message as well as about those interviewed in the film. Again, why 5 stars despite my gentle critique? Because both my mother and I were able to watch, enjoy, and take a lot from it despite our very different perspectives and knowledge bases, therefore i'm confident others will find it almost universally appealing as well.
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