90 Inspiring, Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
90 Inspiring, Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Illustration by Jessica Perlstein. www.jessicaperlstein.com
By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
Mar 16, 2016

The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to the world and to other humans, but we take this story for granted. We don't even see it as a story but rather as a self-evident truth about our existence

Climate change, political corruption, corporate power, war, racism, sexism, environmental destruction - these are all symptoms of the cultural story we are enacting. To address the symptoms, we must go to the root, and that means we need a new story about our existence. We need a new story to belong to.

The old story of empire and dominion over the earth has to be looked at in the full light of day - all of our ambient cultural stories and values that we take for granted and which remain invisible must become visible.

Most of all, we need to see the promise of the new story (which is also a very ancient story). We need to be able to imagine new exciting ways that people could live, better than anything that the old paradigm could ever dream of providing.

And all of this knowledge and introspection, dreaming, questioning, and discovery is essential for a cultural transformation that addresses root causes. This knowledge is vitally necessary. Taken together, this knowledge can offer us the wisdom for humanity to live in profoudly beautiful new and ancient ways.

This knowledge is vast and unlimited, but I wanted to share a small sliver of what I have discovered over the last 10 years watching thousands of videos online, the best of which I have helped to catalog on this website

The 90 films below offer inspiring visions of other ways of seeing the world, being in the world, and imagining the possible. 

Ecological consciousness. The revolution of values. The Great Turning. The liberation of the mind. Indigenous wisdom. The university of nature. These are just a few of the themes that interweave through these films. Dive into them over the coming days and they will plant seeds of beauty deep within your dreams, and inspire you to create the world your heart knows is possible.

We are being called to remember - to reimagine, to dream, to vision, to see the world and ourselves in entirely different ways.

 

A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min A New Story For Humanity presents a beautifully and sensitively woven tapestry of the rich diversity that is the human family. Featuring interviews on the essential topics of...
Charles Eisenstein: The Two Great Stories That Give Meaning to Our Lives
6 min What matters in life? Who are we? Every culture has answers to these questions. And the way we answer them has profound effects on the health of people and planet. This is a...
A New Story of the People
8 min The old story of our culture is losing its meaning for more and more people. Perhaps almost everyone can feel it these days. But a new story is emerging too - one that...
The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
51 min David Korten’s inspiring and extensively-illustrated presentation of his new book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. David says we are at a defining moment in...
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible - Charles Eisenstein
5 min "There is a vast territory between what we're trying to leave behind, and where we want to go - and we don't have any maps for that territory." - Charles Eisenstein Filmed in...
The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness (2013)
109 min Permaculture designer Andrew Faust gives us an inspiring and heady narrative about the evolution of all life and human consciousness on Mother Earth. 
The Global Brain: Peter Russell (1983)
35 min Peter Russell’s award-winning video, based on a live audio-visual presentation in 1983. He explores the idea that the Earth is an integrated, self-regulating living organism...
There's Gonna Be a Voice That Tells You It'll Be a Waste of Time. Don't Listen.
2 min Motivational speaker Les Brown gives a powerful talk on how each and every one us can 'make a difference' in changing this world for the better.
How Nature Has The Power to Liberate
13 min Nature is the great teacher. The more you embrace nature, the more you feel free.
What The World Needs Now Is A Vision Of A Global Peace Culture Based On Trust
5 min "Trust is the basis on which life heals. There is no deeper vision than the vision of a world in which trust reigns between all beings." The video is inspired by the english...
Occupy Love (2013)
85 min Join acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper on a journey deep inside the global revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet. Humanity is waking up to the fact that...
Capitalism Is Just a Story - Rise Up and Create a New One
6 min How many of us have a sneaking suspicion that something pretty fundamental is going wrong in the world? We keep hearing about the potentially devastating consequences of...
The Choice Is Ours (2016)
98 min This film series explores many aspects of our society. To rethink what is possible in our world, we need to consider what kind of world we want to live in. Although we refer to...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and...
The Revolution Is Love! Our Movement is for the 100%
4 min "Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you...
PLANETARY  (2015)
81 min We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that everything is connected. PLANETARY is a provocative and breathtaking wakeup...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview (2013)
65 min Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview is a documentary exploring the depths of the current human condition and the emergence of a worldview that is recreating our world...
What Could Save This Planet, If Not Love?
3 min In Terra Nova: Global Revolution and the Healing of Love, Dr. Dieter Duhm presents a vision for a new global culture – a world without war, a society without violence, love...
The Right To Be Me
7 min Elder, healer and leader in the Maori community Rangimarie Turuki Rose Peri tells her story and shows us the true meaning of self-acceptance. Also see Part 2.
This Is The "Living on Earth 101" Primer Every Human Needs To See. And It's Only 52 Seconds.
1 min This Wombat has some simple instructions for living on Earth. We got this. The Wombat was created by the Foundation for Global Community: globalcommunity.org/
The One Simple Truth about Our Existence That Everyone Needs to Know
3 min If humanity came to understand this - everything would change. This is a clip from "UnVeiled & Lifted," which was released online for free by the film-makers in 2013. Watch...
Carl Sagan - Who Speaks for Earth?
7 min "We have heard the rationales offered by the super powers. We know who speaks for the nations. But who speaks for the human species, who speaks for Earth?" - Carl Sagan​
David Suzuki: An Elder's Vision for Our Sustainable Future
106 min At 74, and coming the end of his scientific and broadcasting career, David Suzuki mused on the notion: "If I had one last lecture to give, what would I say?" The result is a...
Watch a Giant Suction Tube Gobble Up The Earth In This Brilliant Video about Our Economy
7 min Modern production is based on extraction from the planet, and modern finance is based on extraction from the many for the benefit of the very few. What would a new economy look...
Rose Pere: We Believe In The Oneness of Everything That Exists
2 min At her home just north of Tuai, a small town in the mountains of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere shares some of the beliefs of her...
When You are Seeing Visions of the World in 2048, Remember: One Act of Courage Can Change the World
4 min This is an excerpt from The Fifth Sacred Thing, an upcoming feature film based on the best selling novel by Starhawk, and is set in 2048, where an ecotopian San Francisco...
Money & Life (2013)
86 min Money & Life is a passionate and inspirational essay-style documentary that asks a provocative question: can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous...
For The Next 7 Generations (2009)
84 min In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an...
How a Land High in the Western Himalayas Can Help Us Understand The Crisis of The Modern World
9 min This is a clip from The Economics of Happiness. Watch it here. It's a brilliant film that was easy to put at the top of our list of the top 100 document
The Sacred Balance (2002)
2 min Based on David Suzuki's best-selling book of the same name, and filmed on five continents, THE SACRED BALANCE celebrates a new scientific worldview, an inclusive vision of...
The Bloom Episode 2: Practicing The New World
51 min Part II of The Bloom explores how Transformational Festivals have become incubators and spaces for “Practicing The New World”, where the festivals are produced using a model of...
The Bloom Episode 3: New Ways of the Sacred
70 min Part III of The Bloom “New Ways of The Sacred” looks at how Transformational Festivals are venues for an active engagement with ancient, universal themes of MYTHOS, RITUAL and...
Unity (2015)
99 min Seven years in the making, UNITY is a new documentary that explores humanity’s hopeful transformation from living by killing into living by loving. It is a unique film about...
Gross National Happiness Is a Profound Alternative to How Our Failing Economy Measures Progress
3 min Bhutan is a living example that it is possible to develop in a different way, and is creating a caring economy based on the values of altruism, compassion and...
Culture in Decline #6: Tale of Two Worlds
32 min This is a tale of two worlds: The first exploring the current trends that just may lead us all into vast new levels of decline; The second showing what the world could be...if...
You Are Me (2016)
4 min The cosmos is One interconnected and indivisible Whole. You Are the Cosmos, and All That Is. Therefore, You Are Me! For more information, including sources and quotes, go here. 
Earth Pilgrim (2008)
49 min A spiritual journey into the ethereal landscape of Dartmoor with Satish Kumar, the world-renowned ecologist & creator of Resurgence magazine. Through changing seasons, Satish...
Dada Krsnasevananda on "The Role of Spirituality in Modern Society"
15 min "Imagine what it would be like if, instead of branding us by our brains or looks, our schools and televisions described the divinity and greatness inside each one of us, and...
Incredible Speech by Charlie Kaufman Reminds Us: Things Don't Have To Be This Way
5 min This is an excerpt from an incredible speech made by Charlie Kaufman during BAFTA's 2011 Screenwriters' Lecture Series. The video touches on how the world is built on...
How The Elite Stay In Power
5 min In this video we break down in simple terms the only way "those in power" can stay in power. It's not as complex at it may seem. They need us more than we need them.
To Change Everything, Start Everywhere
8 min To Change Everything, Start Everywhere! The case for complete self-determination—a guide for the furious, the curious, and the pure of heart. To Change Everything: An...
2012: Time For Change (2010)
85 min "2012: Time for Change" presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee João Amorim, the film follows j
Jacque Fresco - A Story of Change
13 min "Every action and decision we take - or don't - ripples into the future. For the first time we have the capability, the technology, and the knowledge to direct these ripples."
Morgan Freeman Narrates the Greatest Story of Our Generation
6 min This 6 minute short film tells the story of the human journey at this critical moment in time. Of all the stories to belong to, this is the story to be a part of. Don't...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were...
The System Is Failing. We All Know It. It's Time to Start Talking about What's Next
4 min Growing inequality, political stalemate, and climate disruption prompt an important insight. When the old ways no longer produce the outcomes we are looking for, something...
This Video Dispels a Great Myth about Human Nature that Will Restore Your Hope in the Future
10 min Do you despair for the world? Does it seem like human nature will doom our society to violence and war without end? Take heart! This 10-minute video will give you hope...
Neil Turok - The Universe Within
8 min "My goal is to get people thinking and trying to wrap their heads around the amazing things that have been achieved and to dream about what will be achieved."
Freedom Ahead (2012)
60 min Never before in known history have so many people relied on so few for the basic essentials of life. In our present-day democracies, freedom is slowly being commodified. We...
Paul Hawken: Regeneration
29 min Paul Hawken is a visionary social entrepreneur, the award-winning author of multiple landmark books including Blessed Unrest, The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism...
Arise (2013) (trailer)
2 min On every continent, women are taking the lead to protect and restore the natural environment, and are empowering others to respect the earth. Arise presents the stories of a...
Neil deGrasse Tyson: What We Are
4 min Mind = blown. Inspired by Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sagan Series & Milky way Musings. Part 2 is a version with no music.  
Joanna Macy: From The Great Unraveling to The Great Turning
2 min Prayer for the Great Turning May the turning of the Earth save us. Ma
Awaken the MOTHER Mind: Powerful message from Zulu healer Credo Mutwa
2 min Zulu Sangoma (healer) Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa calls on all human beings to awaken the mother mind, that part of human consciousness that feels what is happening in the world.
Alan Watts: What is Wrong With Our Culture
5 min Thought-provoking 5 minutes on the state of the world from the late, great Alan Watts - a man far ahead of his time.
It's The Greatest Drama of All Time and You Just Might Be Missing It
6 min When you're glued to the latest series of a show like Game of Thrones, caught up in the drama, the twists and turns of the plot, you may be missing the most intricate, massive...
Earth Democracy
3 min Vandana Shiva explains the concept of a deeper democracy called "Earth Democracy."
Reconvergence (trailer)
2 min An epic rumination on the nature of modern human existence -Maryland Film Festival At the core of humankind's ethos is an ongoing struggle to come to terms with the...
Self-Organisation Beyond Hierarchy
74 min This series of six short films look beyond hierarchy at two approaches to self-organisation. Traditionally, many of us are used to having someone at the top, but times are...
In Transition 2.0: A Story of Resilience & Hope in Extraordinary Times (2012)
66 min This film is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There are stories of...
Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia
1 min In this film Stephan Harding explores the history of science, the world of nature and Gaia Theory. He believes that to tackle the current ecological crisis, we need an expanded...
Paul Hawken: The World's Largest Social Movement Has No Name
6 min Paul Hawken speaking about the world's largest social movement, consisting of hundreds of thousands of grassroots organizations that address social and environmental justice...
What the World Needs Is An Evolution of Spirit
5 min Sometimes there's not much use in telling people what the problems are. The best thing you can do is lead by example. Just show people how this awareness and knowledge has had...
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
THE WISDOM TO SURVIVE: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community (trailer)
3 min Climate change is taking place. Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality. The...
There Are No Shortcuts, You Find Your Path By Walking It
2 min Tavis Smiley dictates a letter to a young American with inspiration from his late friend, Maya Angelou. No matter how much you seek the answers to life from external sources...
Russell Brand - Awakened Man
11 min This is an inspirational compilation of clips trimmed from hours of loving and pure truth interviews Russell has been involved in throughout the last year (2013).
All Revolutions Begin As Revolutions of Consciousness
3 min Important reflections for everyone hoping to affect change in the world. This is a clip from "UnVeiled & Lifted," which was released online for free by the film-makers in...
It Takes More Than One Person to Change The World
5 min Want to change the world? Show people that it is already happening. (An inspirational primer on how to get started.) The video is a clip from Unveiled & Lifted (2013)...
Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas (2008)
95 min From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting; from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
I am Not a Label Invented in the 15th Century, Made Up to Divide Us
4 min Human Beings Were NOT Meant to Be Labeled! - Prince Ea Want to watch more on this topic? Watch Plutocracy (2015) to see how race has been used to divide us economically. Watch...
Visualizing a Plenitude Economy: The Secret To Creating Jobs
5 min This fun animation provides a vision of what a post-consumer society could look like, with people working fewer hours and pursuing re-skilling, homesteading, and small-scale...
Join the Empathy Revolution!
10 min Introspection is out, and outrospection is in. Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves. Roman...
Nonviolent Communication Basics (2000)
275 min The Basics of Nonviolent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg, Phd, is a recorded presentation of a 1-day workshop held in San Francisco, CA in April 2000.  "The purpose of...
Casa De Paz: House of Peace
6 min In the Fruitvale area of Oakland, California, residents are opening their doors and their hearts, fostering peace in their neighborhood—one block at a time. Casa de Paz is...
Transition From Caterpillar to Butterfly as Analogy for Social Change
4 min An exceprt from Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview in which Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about the fractal nature of reality and compares the current global awakening and the...
Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Funny Intro to Participatory Economics
7 min This is a short animated introduction to Participatory Economics. It's made about 10 times more hilarious and enjoyable to watch thanks to the laugh track and frequent jokes.
Here and Now (2015)
18 min Here and Now weaves together social justice, land conservation, human history, and scientific knowledge into a cohesive and moving story about what’s possible by working...
PROUT's Concept of Economic Democracy
10 min 10 minutes of plain-spoken awesome. Economic Democracy is the BIG IDEA of our time. Make sure you don't miss the awesome moment starting at 2:30 that goes until 3:25!  "People...
Redesigning Cities Could Solve Our Biggest Problems. But We're Hardly Talking About Them.
4 min Cities are the biggest thing we create. But when we talk about sustainability, there is still surprisingly little discussion about how our cities are designed as a whole. This...
Desmond Tutu: Did You Know This?
1 min Desmond Tutu shares a simple and important message for us all - in 19 seconds. Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who...
Another Way Of Seeing: We Don't Own the Land. The Land Owns Us.
6 min Bob Randall, a Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru (Ayer's Rock), explains how the connectedness of every living thing to every other living thing is not just...
Bill Hicks: It's Just a Ride
2 min The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and...
We Societies
5 min Thom Hartmann describes a society based on cooperation and the idea that we're all in this together. Compares our current "me" society with a potential "we" society.
Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation
2 min The Occupy Wall Street movement and protest movements around the world are evidence of a new era of intergenerational activists seeking deeper spiritual meaning in their quest...
ENOUGHNESS: Restoring Balance to the Economy in the Most Awesome Way Ever
5 min How we see the world determines how we act. Western thought sees us at war with each other over resources. In Indigenous philosophy, we are all related as individuals in...

 

Articulated above is a new and powerful story about our relationship to the world that personally inspires me. It draws from the wisdom and knowledge of cultures both ancient and new. It is a story worth belonging too.

I believe it is a story so compelling that, as the world hears this new story, will begin enacting it. And as we begin to enact the new story in our every day lives, all those problems that stem from the old story will begin to lose their sway over the world.

From changed hearts and minds will spring forth enumerable actions, solving our myriad crisis at its root, through billions of diverse and vibrant ways of being.

4.5 ·
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90 Inspiring, Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways