Here’s a follow up video to the documentary (which was offered for free by the film makers). I posted this elsewhere.
One really may feel a desperate need for a debrief after viewing the film! The film makers view the film as the beginning of a conversation that everyone has to have.
Some parts of the conversation, Buddhists have been working with for ages. One of the things they touch on is the need to be with the emotions that arise during and after viewing the film. To stay with such things with resilience and love is a big part of what the Dhamma’s about, right?
I remember a few years back, @sujato saying he’d lost hope in external mechanisms and institutions with regard to Climate Change etc. (I hope I’m not misrepresenting you Bhante.) I remember at the time disagreeing with this and insisting on remaining positive. I think it’s part of a discussion here on Discourse somewhere…
Recently, and before I saw this movie, I came to see how right Bhante is. I touched on that in my Rapunzel post (title inspired by Bhante in a recent talk).
This movie was only released in the last day or so. Now you may be thinking it’s about the planet and it’s creatures. It’s not - these topics are incidental. For me, it was, putting it mildly, a very surprising documentary.
I hope Buddhists and Buddhism will be part of this conversation. In what I’m calling the ‘debrief video’, they talk about moving towards a reduction in consumption, taking individual (not corporate) responsibility, sharing resources, being kinder basically - to each other, other beings, our poor planet. But it’s the act of watching the movie, going through it’s message and coming out the other end of how it makes you feel; that will make you feel, o.k, we need to re-think everything. It shakes you out of your complacency.
And if you feel powerless, know this: in releasing this film free online, I think ‘not for profit’, lots of people are going to know about it. One of the things that used to make me feel so powerless is that most people seemed not to know or care about the environment. Actually, most people didn’t have the time. Now alot of people have slowed down, stopped, because of the pandemic - that’s I think part of the timing of this release; the film makers want to spread the world and make us aware of what has been happening behind the scenes - but I won’t say more about that, you just have to watch the documentary!
I think this movie makes you let go of a lot of external crutches and psuedo certainties - it’s sort of like the Buddha’s simile of the mountains of aging and death rolling in. It’s dukkha and anicca and anatta rolling in upon us all. It’s things we all know on a superficial level - but really need to face more deeply. For me on a personal level, this is how it has landed. It lends further urgency to Practise. Not just for my sake, but so that in years to come, I don’t let others down when times become challenging. I really do worry about this. I think we’re all going to need to remember our humanity and forgiveness for each other too. Which is why I love this comment of Bhante’s:
I am reminded that if it wasn’t for forest monks in places like Thailand - I think of Luang Por Ganha who has talked about the need to protect the environment - a lot more biodiversity would have been lost in that country. And a lot of monastics like him lead the way in peace, resilience, wisdom, kindness and gentleness. I want to get better at these skills - because really I feel I’ve a very long way to go… Watching the documentary was a real impetus to practise.
The documentary brought home to me the power of greed, the sway of delusion and the need for kindness and restraint. It was hard and compelling - but as Buddhists, we’re supposed to be into stripping away delusion and seeing suffering with compassion, right?
The following video starts at about the 3 minute 30 second mark.
I posted these elsewhere but they were in the middle of a longer, rambly article (sorry this one’s gotten long too), so here they are again:
Also, you may wish to google, ‘random acts of kindness videos’ after watching the documentary itself.