Jun 2, 2017

Films For Action University: a Map for Navigating the Transition From Empire to Earth Community

This collection of 123 documentaries is a map for navigating the 21st century. It is guided by the premise that we are facing a planetary emergency, and the primary role of schools today should be to prepare students to become active participants in designing the transition to a thriving, egalitarian, and sustainable world.
By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org
Films For Action University: a Map for Navigating the Transition From Empire to Earth Community
Background illustration by Jessica Perlstein: dreamstreamart.com

Most colleges prepare students to read a map of the world that's both outdated and distorted. From economics to history to politics to ecology, modern schools are failing to prepare students for the future on a fundamental level. 

To put it simply, most colleges are still running on a set of assumptions that were developed during the 20th century. These assumptions are largely invisible to us - they are part of our subconscious "story of humanity" - but they ultimately constitute the heart of our societal crisis. The most simple of these is the premise that things will go on as they have before - that we can just get a job, do our part to grow the economy (progress!) and go on our merry way. They are not guiding students with the knowledge and wisdom that we are facing a planetary emergency, with a time crunch measured in decades.

Most colleges still follow the logic of neoclassical economics - a logic which ignores ecology and suffers from the illusion that human law is separate from natural law.

Nowhere is this belief better embodied than in the foolhardy notion that our economy can grow forever on a finite planet. But that is one of the implicit assumptions underlying a standard college education. They train students to become workers and consumers within an ever-growing economy. They teach marketers how to sell more products. They teach business students how to make a profit. They teach students lots of useful, fascinating and amazing things too, but ultimately the mission is to train students to integrate within the status quo. This might be fine if the status quo worked for all of us, but it never has and it's about to stop working for everybody if we don't soon make a change.

Whether things change in a really positive direction or a really bad one is up to what we do over the next 10-30 years. But either way, we can be certain - the status quo isn't going to last, and presently, most schools can't bring themselves to admit this. Not yet in a very serious sense - not yet in a way that would disrupt many of their corporate investments or sponsors. 

What is needed, urgently, are schools that acknowledge the 'fierce urgency of now.' They need to be preparing us to become collaborative designers of an ecologically sustainable, just and democratic society. They need to help all of us become creative and participatory agents for this great societal transition, away from empire and into the planetary era.

Education can no longer afford the pretense of neutrality when neutrality is leading society towards collapse - it must choose life. It must promote not just knowledge, but wisdom. Because that is what the world needs right now - it needs people with the wisdom to actively take part in designing a way of life for humans that is not just sustainable, but regenerative - a way of life that makes life good for life.

Ultimately that is what ecology teaches us - life creates conditions that are good for life, and our own society, as past human societies have done, must align with this inherent wisdom. Align with this wisdom, and life for us will be better than we've ever dreamed it could be, and it will good for all life - because we had the wisdom to put our creativity and imagination to those ends. If we continue to disregard this natural law - enriching some to the detriment of many, both human and environment, then we will perish with the many millions of other life forms that will go down with us. 

While many despair and believe all is already lost, we know that is just a mental fantasy, a trap of the mind. The future has yet to be written. The present moment is everything there is. We believe the story of humanity - while on the verge of calamity, has a great plot twist coming, and it is already being written by millions of people all over the planet. But we still need millions more, every young person, every older person - we need us all, helping to write this story.

We know cynicism is safe. Cynicism is easy. But we also know the courage of our ancestors lives in our bones, and we have the power to tap into that strength when our heart is willing to remain still and listen. 

With all this and more in mind, we have created this educational map for navigating the coming years. It's broken up into several core themes. We hope everyone, students and teachers especially, will find it useful. 

 

Economics


The Corporation
145 min · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future of the modern business corporation and the increasing role...
The Economics of Happiness
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 ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction...
Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution
51 min · Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution, a film by the international NGO Local Futures, shows a quiet and transformative revolution emerging worldwide.
Money & Life
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 opportunity?  
Requiem For The American Dream
73 min · In his final long-form documentary interview - filmed over four years - Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality. Tracing a half-century of policies designed to favor...
Capitalism Hits The Fan
57 min · With breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures...
Fairytales of Growth
48 min · A film on Climate Change, Degrowth and System Change. The effects and risks of climate change are compelling young people the world round to call upon radical system change as the only solution to avoid a catastrophic collapse. This...
Real Estate 4 Ransom: Why Does Land Cost the Earth?
39 min · REAL ESTATE 4 RAN$OM outlines a genuine alternative to the global property speculation that forced so many into debt. Doubling the pressure, the tax game has become just that, with tax havens a favoured option for the wealthy. The...
Plutocracy: Political Repression In The U.S.A.
560 min · Plutocracy, by filmmaker Scott Noble, is the first documentary series to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class.
Shift Change: True Stories of Dignified Jobs in Democratic Workplaces
70 min · At a time when many are disillusioned with big banks and big business, and growing inequity in our country, employee ownership offers a real solution for workers and communities. SHIFT CHANGE visits thriving cooperative businesses in...
Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice
30 min · Economics of Prout covers the basic economic principles of Prout, which offers a viable alternative to the materialistic, anti human philosophies of Capitalism and Communism.
Can We Do It Ourselves?
59 min · Within modern life exists a paradox: we celebrate democracy as a political system, but not as an economic system, even though our workplaces have a far greater impact on our day to day lives. It's fair to say that most workplaces under...
Money As Debt: Revised Edition
47 min · This simple, low-fi video acts as an Economics 101 class for those of us who don't really understand the American system of money. If you'd like to know more about why and how the economy works watch this video.

 

 

Education


Schooling the World
66 min · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children.
School Circles: Every Voice Matters
89 min · School Circles is an independent documentary that explores the practice of democratic schools in the Netherlands. The film shows students, teachers and staff members coming together to dialogue, discuss proposals, mediate conflicts and...
Ecological Learning Through Direct Experience
45 min · This is a documentary about getting out into the natural world and learning from the wisdom of land and people - focusing on how rewilding our perception might be the catalyst for the changes we wish to see in the world.
Education For a Sustainable Future
53 min · Education For a Sustainable Future presents information on how today's practices in schools are socially unsustainable. The documentary film critically analyses what is considered socially relevant in a new education system which brings...
Self-Taught: Life Stories From Self-Directed Learners
77 min · Through the stories of six extraordinary individuals, Self-Taught explores what self-directed education means to them and the impact it has had on their lives, ambitions, work and beliefs.
Class Dismissed: A Paper Tiger Documentary
27 min · Class Dismissed provides a critical look at how U.S. history is taught in high school, at the myths that reduce the complexity of history into simple soundbites, and the information that never seems to make it onto the textbook pages...
The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved: Creating a Transformative Culture
36 min · This 36-minute documentary follows the lives of 5 young explorers on their journey through the 5-week Ecovillage Design Education program in Switzerland, which navigates today's challenges as opportunities to build a regenerative future...
Re-Learning the Land: a Story of Red Crow College
68 min · RE-LEARNING THE LAND is the story of a Blackfoot community in southern Alberta, Canada, and how they have re-taken control of their education system within Red Crow Community College. The film traces the decolonization of their learning...
Re-Learning Hope: a Story of Unitierra
70 min · RE-LEARNING HOPE is the story of Unitierra, an autonomous university in Oaxaca, Mexico that is immersed in, and has emerged from, the social and indigenous movements of the region. The film tells the story of this emergence of Unitierra...

 

 

Ecology


The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness | Andrew Faust
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. 
India's Healing Forests: Come Home, Be Healed
51 min · All our knowledge comes from nature and yet nature is a source of many mysteries.
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective
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 beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the...
United Natures: a United Nations of all Species
104 min · United Natures explores the rights of Mother Earth, environmental philosophy, wisdom, spirituality, and the potential for a neo-indigenous future for humanity.
The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement
53 min · Western views and the legal system tend to view nature as property, and as a resource from which wealth is extracted, a commodity whose only value is to provide for human needs. But for millennia indigenous communities have viewed...
The Nature of Cities
40 min · THE NATURE OF CITIES follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move our urban environments beyond sustainability to a regenerative...
Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life
60 min · Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment...
The Superior Human?
73 min · "The Superior Human?" systematically challenges the common human belief that humans are superior to all other life forms, which is often used as an excuse for animal cruelty and the destruction of our own environment. It reveals the...
Gimme Green
27 min · Lawns are undeniably an American symbol. But what do they really symbolize? Pride and prosperity? Or waste and conformity?
Invisible Hand: Who Will Speak For Nature?
84 min · From Executive Producer Mark Ruffalo comes the world’s first documentary film on the Rights of Nature Movement, a “Paradigm Shifting” story where the 'Rights of Nature' has become 'capitalism’s one true opponent.'

 

 

Media Literacy


Beware Of Images
160 min · From cave paintings to virtual reality, Beware of Images embarks on a fascinating journey through the history of mediated representation. This is the history of media you will never find on TV.
The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News
60 min · If you think U.S. news has a liberal bias, this assumption-shattering film from Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, and Justin Lewis will have you thinking again. Making the common-sense case that mainstream news media are more committed to...
Propaganda: How Western Citizens are Turned Into Compliant Slaves
95 min · Since it mysteriously appeared on YouTube on July 18, 2012, ‘Propaganda’ has been described as ‘1984 meets The Blair Witch Project’, ‘A mouthful of scary porridge’, and ‘Even better than Triumph of The Will.’
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
157 min · Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, MANUFACTURING CONSENT explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. In a dynamic collage of new and original footage...
Project Censored The Movie: Ending The Reign of Junk Food News
63 min · Thanks to the filmmakers, you can watch this film for free! If you'd like to show your thanks, you can buy a digital download of the film on this page for $10. All proceeds will go to the Media Freedom Foundation, which works closely...
United States of Distraction: Fighting The Fake News Invasion
63 min · Thanks to the filmmakers, you can watch this film for free! If you'd like to show your thanks, you can buy a digital download of the film on this page for $10. All proceeds will go to the Media Freedom Foundation, which works closely...
Constructing Public Opinion: How Politicians & the Media Misrepresent the Public
32 min · The media regularly use public opinion polls in their reporting of important news stories. But how exactly do they report them and to what end? In this insightful and accessible interview, Professor Justin Lewis demonstrates the way in...

 

 

Empire & Government


The Power Principle: Corporate Empire and the Rise of the National Security State
264 min · "A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the events of today." - Michael Parenti, Historian, Author The Face...
Plutocracy: Political Repression In The U.S.A.
560 min · Plutocracy, by filmmaker Scott Noble, is the first documentary series to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class.
Engines of Domination: Political Power & The Human Emergency - Director's Cut
57 min · Political power—armed central authority, with states and war—is it part of human nature? Is it necessary for human community? Or is it a tool that ruling elites use to live at the community's expense? A tool that does violence to human...
Oliver Stone: The Untold History Of The United States
570 min · There is a classified America we were never meant to see. From Academy Award®-winning writer/director Oliver Stone, this ten-part documentary series looks back at human events that at the time went under reported, but that crucially...
Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations
360 min · "Scott Noble may have outdone himself with Counter Intelligence. The Psywar filmmaker amassed a tour de force of power elite and deep state scholars weighing in and synthesizing decades of research. From the rise of the national...
The Canary Effect: Kill the Indian, Save the Man
63 min · From multi-award winning directors Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman, comes this 'Illuminating Documentary' (Time Out). Delving deeply into the often misunderstood and frequently overlooked historic realities of the American Indian...
Human Resources: Social Engineering In The 20th Century
119 min · Human Resources explores the rise of mechanistic philosophy and the exploitation of human beings under modern hierarchical systems.
Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire
76 min · The 9/11 terror attacks continue to send shock waves through the American political system. Continuing fears about American vulnerability alternate with images of American military prowess and patriotic bravado in a transformed media...

 

 

War


The War You Don't See
98 min · A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the...
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
72 min · This critically acclaimed look at American war propaganda exhumes five decades of remarkable archival footage to show how presidents from both parties have relied on fear-driven political spin and craven media complicity to sell a...
A Bold Peace: Costa Rica's Path of Demilitarization
90 min · 70 years ago Costa Rica abolished its army and committed itself to fostering a peaceful society. It has been reaping the benefits ever since.
The War at Home: The Untold History of Class War in the United States
104 min · "In a time when many are questioning institutional integrity across society, seeking accurate and relevant information to help make sense of our supposedly post-truth era, Noble shines a spotlight into our dark past while providing a...
Peace, Propaganda, & The Promised Land: US Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
80 min · Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions...
What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy
118 min · This is a powerful 10-part compilation that (in important ways) pulls aside the veil of Official myths and Lies about "freedom", "democracy", Human Rights, etc., being the basis of U.S. foreign policy.
War By Other Means
52 min · John Pilger travels to many third world countries to investigate the devastating results of loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). This film shows how many wars today are not carried out at the barrel of a gun...
Oil, Smoke & Mirrors
50 min · "Oil Smoke & Mirrors" offers us a sobering critique of our perceived recent history, of our present global circumstances, and of our shared future in light of imminent, under-reported, and misrepresented energy production constraints...

 

 

Drug Prohibition and Prisons


Law Enforcement Opposed to the War on Drugs
54 min · Cops and former cops who have put in decades fighting the war on drugs speak out against prohibition.
The Monopoly On Violence
106 min · The Monopoly of Violence is a study of police brutality in France, specifically documenting the gilet jaunes protest movement of 2018 and 2019. But the footage could just as easily have been from the United States, or Hong Kong, or...
Broken On All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration and New Visions for Criminal Justice
73 min · Today, there are more Americans in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. The prison population has exploded by 500% since the end of the Civil Rights and Black Power...
Psychedelia: The History and Science of Mystical Experience
58 min · Psychedelia takes viewers on a journey through the origins and resurgence of psychedelic research, exploring the profound, life-altering effects of these compounds in both the therapeutic setting and the world at large.

 

 

Community


Planet Community: A 5-Part Series Exploring Cooperation in Action
50 min · What happens when people work together to create solutions to the social, economic, and ecological issues we face today?
Within Reach: Journey to Find Sustainable Community
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 around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than...
The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
51 min · David Korten’s inspiring and extensively illustrated presentation of his book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. David says we are at a defining moment in all of human history.
We the Power | The Future of Energy is Community-Owned
39 min · A film about the citizen-led community-energy movement in Europe and the visionaries lighting the way. 
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
52 min · When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the...
The Great Disconnect
60 min · We are living in a time that has been described as the age of loneliness. Despite Western advances in technology, living conditions, education and healthcare, we, as a society, are isolating ourselves from one another, and because of...

 

 

Food


Feeding Ourselves
96 min · Feeding Ourselves weaves intimate stories from the hopes and convictions of rural BC farmers and producers as they navigate undercurrents of uncertainty with our food system. Their commitment to local food culture inspires us to...
In Our Hands: Seeding Change
68 min · Food and farming is in crisis. In just over a decade we’ve lost more than 33,000 farms from our countryside, and alongside this, bad diet is now causing more health problems than smoking! The fundamental link between people, food and...
Together We Grow
39 min · “This beautiful film is the perfect antidote to the cynical narrative that says people are inherently selfish... This film will melt your heart. Guaranteed.” – Rob Hopkins, author; co-founder Transition Network
Into the Soil | Regenerative Farming & Food Fermentation
32 min · ”A refreshing perspective on what it means to be wealthy” – Don Smith, Kiss the Ground
Origins
101 min · This is a movie about how we have left the natural connection to the planet. The movie investigates how this has happened, the incredible amounts of pollutants that we are exposed to, even as a fetus, and the technology that can help...
Fed Up! Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture and Sustainable Alternatives
57 min · About 70% of the food we eat contains genetically engineered ingredients and the biotech industry is spending million a year to convince us that this technology is our only hope. Using hilarious and disturbing archival footage and...
Go Organic!
115 min · This series of films provide a refreshing education on the current state of agriculture, pointing out positive sustainable and organic practices that you can take part in. The Meatrix and Frankensteer expose the ways of unethical...

 

 

Democracy & Politics


Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas
95 min · From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting; from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across the hemisphere -- this documentary is a journey, which takes...
Lifting the Veil:  Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy
114 min · This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and...
The Evilness of Power
92 min · THE EVILNESS OF POWER examines the ways in which power and hierarchy affect individuals, society, and the world at large. It's possibly the best film on the subject ever made.  Produced by Jonathan Shockley.
We the People 2.0
91 min · We the People is a visual essay about the loss of democracy in the United States. The film utillizes both original footage as well as found footage to describe a profound change in thinking at the grassroots level. The story unfolds...
Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Politics
87 min · The definitive documentary explaining the influence of money on politics by Jonathan Shockley. If you like it, consider buying the high quality DVD or donating a few $ at http://goldenruledocumentary.blogspot.com/

 

 

Culture


Human
382 min · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? 
Ancient Futures:  Learning From Ladakh
59 min · Ladakh, or 'Little Tibet', is a wildly beautiful desert land high in the Western Himalayas. It is a place of few resources and an extreme climate. Yet for more than 1,000 years, it has been home to a thriving culture. Traditions of...
END:CIV
75 min · Directed by Franklin Lopez, END:CIV examines our culture’s addiction to systematic violence and environmental exploitation, and probes the resulting epidemic of poisoned landscapes and shell-shocked nations.
Framing Reality: A Plan for the Future
51 min · All humans on the planet are living under an illusionary paradigm that can be compared to what was presented in the 'Matrix'. A mental prison that exists within the minds of the collective. This prison exists as the societal paradigm we...

 

 

Consumerism


Escape! From the Cult of Materialism
50 min · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for yourself if you're in the cult and need to escape!​
The True Cost: Who Pays the Real Price for Your Clothes
50 min · This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs...
Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood
66 min · Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food to bogus educational products and the family car.
The Century of the Self
230 min · The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? (Includes all parts of this multi-part series.)
Affluenza
56 min · AFFLUENZA diagnoses a serious social disease - caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism - that is having a devastating impact on our families, communities, and the environment. We have more stuff, but less time, and...
Advertising & The End of The World
47 min · Advertising & the End of the World features an illustrated presentation by Sut Jhally of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the producer and writer of the award-winning Dreamworlds series.
The New Economics 101: True Wealth in the New Economy
46 min · Economist and bestselling author Juliet Schor lays out a positive vision for rethinking our relationship to consumer goods in this accessible and timely analysis of the devastating ecological, social, and personal costs of mass consumerism.

 

 

The Big Picture


Fall and Winter
102 min · This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document...
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
162 min · A feature length documentary by Peter Joseph that presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.
Awakening from the Meaning Crisis
3000 min · Do you ever feel like we're swimming in an ocean of bullshit? This ground-breaking and viral 50-part series from John Vervaeke seeks to understand why this is so, and answer the question: what can we do about it?
Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview
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 from the inside out. Weaving together insights and findings...
The Choice Is Ours
59 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 it as civilization, it is anything but civilized. Visions...
Paradise or Oblivion
48 min · A free online documentary created by The Venus Project, which examines the root causes of the systemic value disorders and detrimental symptoms caused by our current established system. This video presentation advocates a new...
The Crisis of Civilization
87 min · The Crisis of Civilization investigates how global crises like ecological disasters, financial meltdowns, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism, and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system.
Call Of Life: Facing The Mass Extinction
80 min · All over the world species are becoming extinct at an astonishing rate, from 1000 to 10,000 times faster than normal. The loss of biodiversity has become so severe that scientists are calling it a mass extinction event.
What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire
123 min · A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle.

 

 

Wisdom


TAWAI: A Voice From the Forest
100 min · Tawai is a word the nomadic hunter-gatherers of Borneo use to describe the connection they feel to their forest home. In this dreamy, philosophical and sociological look at life, Bruce Parry (of the BBC's Tribe, Amazon & Arctic) embarks...
A New Story for Humanity: Change the Story, Change the World
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 our time: from cosmology to ecology, from ancient wisdom to...
The Wisdom To Survive
55 min · Climate change is here. Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics, and spirituality. The focus: how we can live creatively and even joyfully in the face of...
A Quest For Meaning
87 min · A Quest for Meaning is an inspiring journey that connects personal growth and social change. It tells the story of two friends, Marc and Nathanael, who leave everything behind to go question the workings of the world and look for...
The Global Brain | Peter Russell
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 and asks what function humanity might have for this planetary...
The Twelve: A Tale of Wisdom & Unity
75 min · “The Twelve” tells the story of twelve spiritual Elders from around the globe who gather at the United Nations in New York to create a unique ritual for Humankind and planet Earth. By interviewing each one of them in their home...
Voices of the Grandmothers
120 min · Imagine growing up with the dream seeds of a wise grandmother, whose inner knowing is distilled within her stories, myths, and songs. These messages serve as a map for you and the future generations. Find your way in the world. Bring...
Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream
90 min · Wake up to your own role in creating a new future. This new perspective of the current state of our planet features top scientific, indigenous and activist minds from around the world. Now available for the first-time ever on video...

 

 

Designing The Future


A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity
79 min · A Simpler Way follows a community in Australia who came together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises. Throughout the year the group built tiny houses, planted veggie gardens, practised simple...
In Transition 2.0: A Story of Resilience & Hope in Extraordinary Times
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 communities printing their own money, growing food...
InterReflections: A Story about The Greatest Revolution of Our Time
165 min · InterReflections is an experimental, mixed genre narrative feature film by Peter Joseph, adapted from his book The New Human Rights Movement. The ambitious, nearly 3 hour work challenges not only contemporary thinking about society, it...
Tomorrow: Take Concrete Steps To A Sustainable Future
120 min · “Without question, this is absolutely the best and most creative film on the future of humanity and the environment”. — Paul Hawken
Singapore: Biophilic City
44 min · A whirlwind week in Singapore exploring the amazing story of how Singapore came to be one of the most 'biophilic' cities of the world, on the cutting edge of ecocity design and innovation. Did you have any idea? There has been...
First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture
90 min · FIRST EARTH is a documentary about the movement towards a massive paradigm shift for shelter -- building healthy houses in the old ways, out of the very earth itself, and living together like in the old days, by recreating villages. It...
Together: How Cooperatives Show Resilience to the Crisis
39 min · It’s a fact. In Europe, 1.5 million workers co-own their enterprises. They are called worker cooperatives, social cooperatives or participative enterprises. The documentary TOGETHER reveals, through extensive research and exclusive...
Creating Prosperous Communities: Examples of Small-Scale Cooperatives in Maleny
33 min · A video about the many cooperatives in Maleny, Australia, and the beneficial effects they have on the local community. It includes interviews with people from the Maleny Credit Union, the health food store, environmental coops and the...
Not Business As Usual
61 min · Not Business As Usual is a provocative look at capitalism and its unintended price of success. The film tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of conscious capitalism through the stories of local entrepreneurs...
A Passion For Sustainability
56 min · Envision a society where economic opportunity, social justice and sustainable culture all spring from environmental stewardship. Imagine a world where nurturing the health of the planet is the catalyst for global financial success and...
Waste = Food
49 min · Man is the only creature that produces landfills. Natural resources are being depleted on a rapid scale while production and consumption are rising in na­tions like China and India. The waste production world wide is enormous and if we...
2012: Time For Change
85 min · This film presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee João Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest...
What's a Colloquium? An Oral History of the Natural Building Movement
76 min · A small band of natural building enthusiasts and outlaws met in a field over 20 years ago at something they called a ‘colloquium’. The movement they created has grown uncontrollably ever since; reviving and innovating ancient building...
The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?
61 min · Opening with a powerful ‘deep time’ perspective, from the beginning of the Earth to our present moment, BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's new film recognises the fundamental unsustainability of today’s society and dares to ask...

 

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Films For Action University is currently comprised of 123 films. There are numerous films we would really like to add to it, but currently, they aren't available to watch online, either for free or to rent. As that changes, we'll be updating this resource over time. 

If you like it, please feel free to start sharing it widely.

Over the years, we have heard so many wonderful stories about people telling their friends about this site, or about teachers telling their students, and how much they love it after spending some time watching a few films.

Now that there are thousands of films on the site, the very best gems have become buried all across our library, so we realized we needed a more guided way to dive in. Films For Action University aims to be this entry point. It is our attempt to curate the kind of crash-course curriculum on the state of the world we wish we had all got growing up, but didn't. A resource gathered after watching over 800 films over the last 10 years. 

We hope you find it of value. 

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