Films and visual arts have the power to move us in ways we never thought possible. Some have even inspired us to change the course of our lives in pursuit of a more meaningful existence.
As we are all becoming familiar with today, life is unpredictable and constantly changing. It is full of challenges that seem to test our conceivable limits. But it’s not what happens to us that ultimately determines our fate, it’s how we react that matters.
The shorts, documentaries, and films we’re featuring have given us a unique perspective into life on Earth. They’ve shown us how individuals can be powerhouse change agents with unprecedented conviction and impart profound life lessons in a few unshakable words. They inspire us to think critically, make bold decisions, and be unwavering in the face of adversity.
These inspirational films have given us hope that we can conquer the biggest challenges we face as today–as a Collective.
Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future
Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future is a feature-length documentary that describes the “existential threats to our species” and the solutions we can be a part of. As individuals, we have the power to “rethink our approach to how we live” and make a positive impact on the planet. This film shows us how simple these changes can be, and how they accumulate to produce large-scale shifts in culture.
John Lewis: Good Trouble
John Lewis spent more than 60 years of his life fighting on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement. This intimate account of the U.S. representative’s life begins with his petitioning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama.
“The Boy from Troy” organized Freedom Rides and marched bravely on Washington and Selma. His fearless conviction brought forth real change on a massive scale. Lewis passed away on July 17, 2020, but his legacy lives on in this extraordinary documentary that skims the surface of his accomplishments.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg earned the nickname “Notorious R.B.G.” for a reason. The New Yorker has become an icon for fighting for freedom and equal rights for women throughout her career. Ginsburg was the first woman to be hired with tenure at Columbia University School of Law before becoming the General Counsel for the ACLU. She was sworn in as Supreme Court justice in 1993 and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
At 87 years-old, the Supreme Court justice exercises regularly while holding her position and fighting cancer. Nothing seems to faze her. This year she was selected as the recipient of the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal “for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all.”
Get inspired to fight for what you believe in by learning about the Notorious R.B.G. and how she conquered many hard-fought battles throughout her life.
Seven Worlds, One Planet
Our connection to the natural world is faint at best in today’s modern society. But Sir David Attenborough manages to transport us to our planet’s captivating continents with his calming voice and never-before-seen footage of life on Earth.
This wildlife documentary series inspired us to take responsibility for nature. Humans play a critical role in stewarding and protecting the biodiversity left on the planet. Each episode motivates us to take action–to protect life on our planet–by showing us what makes each place remarkably unique.
Seven Worlds, One Planet is available to watch on AMC, BBC America, IFC and Sundance.
The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy
The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy is a feature-length documentary by VICE that features noted economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin. Drawing on his 50 years of experience working with governments and private companies around the world, he discusses the next evolution of our economy in front of a small audience in Brooklyn, New York.
Rifkin describes the movement away from the current economic system, which gave rise to exponential exhaustion of natural resources, declining productivity, slow growth, rising unemployment, and steep inequality. “We [have to] create a completely new economic system; markets to networks, from consumerism to sustainability, ownership to access, market capital to social capital,” he says.
We enjoyed this documentary because it helped us understand the broader picture of global economics and how we as individuals can meaningfully contribute to it. A sustainable economic system is regenerative. It can heal humanity and nature while creating prosperity for all.
After Skool’s goal is to empower the individual and deliver profound ideas through art. After four years of illustrating ideas and lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers, the inspirational YouTube channel has more than 1.26 million subscribers and nearly 100 million views.
These are some of our favorite shorts by After Skool:
“The Illusion of Money, Time, & Ego” by Alan Watts
“Don’t Be A Victim” by Jordan Peterson
“Choose Your Sacrifice” by Jordan Peterson
“The Need for Acceptance Will Make You Invisible” by Jim Carrey
Kiss the Ground
Kiss the Ground is a nonprofit “on a mission to awaken people to the possibilities of regeneration.” Their awareness campaign works to educate the public and support farmers in adopting regenerative organic agriculture practices as part of the fight against the climate crisis. According to Kiss the Ground, regenerative agriculture is the missing piece of the climate puzzle.
Their feature-length nature film also named Kiss the Ground, available to stream on Netflix September 22, 2020, is narrated by and features Woody Harrelson. It reveals that “by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize the Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies.”
The Social Dilemma
The Social Dilemma, available to stream on Netflix September 8, 2020, explores the power of social media. While the positive applications are numerous, including its role in uniting people in the fight for equality and justice and connecting loved ones during the global pandemic, so are its negative impacts on how we think, act, and live our lives. Award-winning filmmakers Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral) and Larissa Rhodes (Chasing Coral) pull back the covers on social media, illuminating “the very real consequences these seemingly innocent technologies can have on our everyday lives.”
Because of our careers in technology, we are acutely aware of the unethical behavior and negative impacts that social media and big data can have on individuals and society at large. It isn’t self-evident, but signing up for a free service such as Facebook or searching Google turns the individual into the product. Algorithms shape your worldview in exchange for advertising dollars and better engagement metrics.
One part of our mission at Human Nature Collective is to restore ethics in the social fabric that connects us all. Despite best intentions, the way social media has been designed oftentimes does the opposite of uniting us. But we can solve this problem that wreaks havoc on our Collective health as long as we are aware of it.