About the film

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 5.08.58 PM.png

Joanna Macy and the Great Turning is a 26-minute film in which Joanna shares her understanding of these times we live in, when everything we treasure seems to be at risk. But it is not a film about despair. Instead, it is about the opportunity we have to come alive to our truest power, to "look straight into the face of our time, which is the biggest gift we can give," and to participate in the Great Turning.

What is the Great Turning? It is, as Joanna describes it, the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization. It is, she believes, the third major revolution of human existence, after the agricultural and industrial revolutions. This one, though, has to unfold much more quickly. The good news is that it is, all around the world.

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth,” says Joanna, “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.”

This is a thoughtful, and ultimately hopeful, film for anyone concerned about the future of life on the planet. 

"We imagine they'll look back at us," Joanna says, referring to future generations, "Living in these early years of the third millennium, and say, 'Oh, those ancestors. They were taking part in the Great Turning.'”

About Joanna Macy 

Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, PhD is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.

Many thousands of people around the world have participated in Joanna's workshops and trainings. Her group methods have been adopted and adapted widely in classrooms, congregations, and grassroots organizing. Her work helps people transform despair and apathy, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into constructive, collaborative action. It brings a new way of seeing the world, as our larger living body, freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on Earth.

About the production team

Chris Landry has always believed in the power of stories to change the world, and has used storytelling in his work in food security and sustainable agriculture and as the principal of Landry Communications, a communications firm devoted to helping mission-centered organizations clarify their messages. The first time he heard Joanna Macy speak, he knew he wanted to make a film that would bring her powerful story to a wider audience. Chris lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his sons.

Colby Gottert of Digital Development Communications provided most of the videography, which was shot around the world, and his team helped with the editing. Dozens of other videographers generously shared footage as well. The music is by Philip Price of the Winterpills, and C.S. Fossett created the titles and animation. Kristen Chamberlin helped launch the project, and many other people provided assistance, feedback, and encouragement, and more than 200 people provided financial support. The interview itself was produced by Chris Landry and Kristen Chamberlin and is used under license from TwoWingsInc.org.

The music was composed by singer-songwriter Philip Price of the Winterpills

It's been a team effort, which is what this film is all about. "We need each other for this," as Joanna says in the film. "We need each other in ways that I think that we never have before."

The Distributor

Joanna Macy and the Great Turning is distributed by the The Video Project, specialists in distributing the very best in educational media and documentary programming on critical environmental, global and social issues to the widest possible audience worldwide, including colleges, schools, libraries, businesses, religious groups, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.