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  • I Am
  • Customer Reviews

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 March 31, 2013
I just watched this twice in one day, so I have a very fresh recollection of it's contents. This is a very uplifting film, and is NOT supposed to be a scientific flick. If you want one of those, go and rent The Living Matrix, or read some of Greg Braden's books.

I AM is the story of a personal transformation of someone, who at the peak of his life, thought he had everything he could possibly want; Success, Wealth, Fame, Admiration, and yet, at the end of the day, that wasn't enough to make him happy. Through a series of interviews with viewpoints of different prominent (and some not as prominent) people from across the globe, he touches on the different cultures he encounters and how it made him aware that there is so much more to the life he's living. Only a small section of the film really involves him, as he shows the audience how the journey in the making of this movie is what prompted him to make changes to his life. As a result of these changes, he's a happier man, and being much more of service to others. Granted, it's hard to feel sorry for someone who is that famous and wealthy already, but he gives you a glimpse into his heart as he moves into his mansion, then closes the door at the end of the day and feels lonely.

This movie was truly professionally filmed (how could it not be, in the hands of such an experienced movie maker). He shows joyous wonderful moments, like when the Dalai Lama rushes over to hug a young girl with such enthusiasm that is becomes a truly heart warming moment. Another scene of a little boy laughing at the camera, in sharp contrast with a little boy in africa with sadness on his face. Let's face it, life for the majority of people is a struggle. For someone who has been given the best success that can be gotten, he's a good person for making this movie. I didn't find it self serving, as other reviewers have mentioned. He had no need to make this movie, but he did it for the greater good, and I applaud him for it.
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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 August 4, 2017
I'm not going to spend a lot of time reviewing this because others have already reviewed it favorably and I'm sure I agree with whatever they said. I just wanted to weigh in. I ab-so-lute-ly ADORE this film. Really great job, Tom Shadyac! Please do more of this. I don't know how many times I've watched this, but it always lifts me up and gives me hope for humanity.
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on May 4, 2011
I saw Tom's interview on Oprah and immediately looked for theatre showings. This documentary is life changing. As Tom notes in the film, "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. The whole idea of living beyond ones needs is carried to the ultimate destruction of the host by cancer cells to the body and mankind to the planet. I loved his story of how a herd of deer determine when and where to move to water or to feed. True democracy in action. Community, community, community!! After the movie was over, everyone in the theatre stayed to watch the credits. As the lights came up and the film ended, big hugs erupted as people were leaving. Thank you, Tom, for a life-changing inspirational and educational experience.

BTW, I traveled a thousand miles to see this movie. Wish it had a wider distribution. John, New Mexico
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on January 29, 2015
Watching this for the first time was a life-changing experience for me. I have a friend who likes to say that great literature "re-arranges your mental furniture." This film certainly did that for me.

I've watched the film several times now, and I've gotten a bit obnoxious about making house guests watch it with me when they fall into my trap (Hey, c'mon over... we'll have dinner... drink some wine... Oh, and I've got this film I think you'd like!)

In the media, in Congress, in the White House... everyone is struggling and fighting over all these difficult questions... BUT! They're the wrong questions! I wish... I so wish... more people would watch this film and understand how the priority isn't something like promoting values we believe in while helping the economy. We need to radically rethink who we are as a species. Watching "I Am" helps a lot.
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on December 28, 2015
One of the most important and moving films I have ever watched. Sadyak and company take views on a serious and fun fun journey through our word to understand why - for all our collective effort to have everything - so many feel so empty and dissatisfied. In the process of recording the journey, I AM transcends from mere documentary into a profound work of art because like all great art it has a power to reveal who each of us really is through our individual reactions. I AM includes wonderful interviews with scientists, poets, and religious leaders that uncover the common ground of all human experience. A hidden gem of our age.
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on August 19, 2016
It is worth a view, just to have your mind rekindle what you know to be true in your heart. While I struggle with documentaries such as this that try to say that they have found the "key" to life and meaning, Mr Barasch shares his journey to understand the question of how we should live. As is common today, he uses science to justify his ideas, it makes for a compelling case. However, the bigger ideas at the heart of the idea is more spiritual than scientific. I loved to be reminded that we are all connected even though western society would like to say that "all men are islands"
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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 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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