Film I Am

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Themes and ideas in the film I Am

The film I Am is a globally celebrated non-fiction film by the renowned filmmaker Tom Shadyac. In its in-depth analysis, the film is actually a provocative piece asking some two fundamental questions; what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better? These two are the basic questions that guide the entire 80 minutes film that engages different authority figures in various fields like religion, philosophy and science.

Having produced several other blockbusters, majorly in the comical side of production, Shadyac here comes up with a totally different thought provoking film that tackles reality in life rather than injecting fun into lives. This shift in paradigm was occasioned by the real life experience that Shadyac had. He was involved in a bike accident there after suffered Post Concussion Syndrome, a condition that incapacitated him. Though Shadyac later recovered from this condition, it was an awakening call that left him with a purpose driven life, one that would see him seek the truth and ask hard questions about reality of life.

In the film, Shadyac involves himself a subject guinea pig as well as a host of thinkers and opinion shapers like David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch, all featured predominantly and interviewed in the film with the aim of finding out how we as a race can improve the way we live and walk in the contemporary world.

One thing that comes out clearly in the various interviews is that the essential thing to being human is the uniting force, the collaboration and the togetherness in hard times that set us apart from other creatures.
As a matter of fact, it comes out that even the animals have the requisite sense of collaboration. It is not the amassing of wealth that improves our social standing but the ability to elevate each member of the society to live in the better standards together. This perspective deconstructs the view that capitalists and the industrialists want the contemporary society to believe, the view that the more wealth once can have for himself and his family the better and that more industries need to be built to facilitate this evil wealth accumulation. Shadyac advocates for simple and responsible life in the society as oppose to extravagant and indifferent lifestyle as is seen among most celebrities today.

The film further highlights the religion-science dialogue where historic scientific beliefs and historic faith traditions help shape up our belief in the current lifestyle as should be. This film in its entirety is an attempt to understand the underlying reasons for the world’s ills. Shadyac set out to find out what is wrong with the world, only to discover that actually there is more right than has been imagined before. He found out in the film that the human heart and not the brain is the human’s first organ of intelligence. Further, the film shows that the human consciousness and….....

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