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Joanna Macy and the Great Turning

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Catalogue Number:  TVP034
Producer:  Video Project, Inc.
Producing Agencies:  Landry Communications
Subject:  Documentary, Environmental Studies, Family Studies/Home Economics, Health, Science, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2014
Running Time:  26:00

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Joanna Macy and the Great Turning is a short film about the societal shift now underway from an industrial growth society to a more sustainable civilization.

Based on an extensive interview with well-known writer, teacher, and activist Joanna Macy, the film lays out Macy’s understanding of “the Great Turning” as the third major revolution of human existence after the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth,” says Joanna Macy, “Is not that we are on the way to destroying the world — we've actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.”

Macy considers how human beings have previously responded to the major challenges of our past and shows how we are doing so once again, in hundreds of ways both small and large.

Illustrated with beautiful footage shot around the world, the film is at once sobering, insightful, and inspiring. The Great Turning is ultimately a call to take part in this new “great adventure” in order to help create a more life-sustaining world.

The author of 8 books, Joanna Macy is considered one of the world’s leading sustainability educators. Macy shares her knowledge through her books, workshops, courses and talks. Her work addresses psychological and spiritual issues, Buddhist thought, and contemporary science. She serves as an adjunct professor to three graduate schools in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Starr King School for the Ministry, the University of Creation Spirituality, and the California Institute of Integral Studies.

"Highly recommended. Pragmatic and accessible... Macy eloquently presents the ways that the world is changing and the dire conditions for many people around the world, yet offers a glimmer of hope in what she calls the 'Great Turning.' This film could be shown in junior high science or social studies classrooms just as easily as in an undergraduate ethics course or first-year seminar." Educational Media Reviews Online

"Recommended. This video could be a great starting point to generate discussion about what path the world should be following, for high school students, college students and adults. Is Macy's take on history correct? Are we in the midst of 'The Great Turning'? Is she too optimistic? What can we do as individuals to ease the transition to a sustainable world? How will it all turn out?" – Science Books and Films

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