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Movie Review: “I AM”

The director of “I AM”, Tom Shadyac, is most well-known for his smash hits Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty and Patch Adams.  Shadyac is one of Hollywood’s most successful writer/director/producers.  However, everything changed for Shadyac in 2007 when he had a horrific bike accident that left him with Post-Concussion Syndrome, a condition where the symptoms of the original concussion never go away.  These symptoms included intense and painful reactions to light and sound, severe mood swings and a constant ringing sound in the head.  Shadyac tried every manner of treatment, traditional and alternative, but nothing worked.  He suffered months of isolation and pain and finally reached a point where he welcomed death as a release. “I simply didn’t think I was going to make it,” he admitted. 

While confronting his own mortality, he asked himself, “If this is it for me –  if I really am going to die  –  what do I want to say before I go?  What will be my last testament?”  Shadyac and a crew of just four set out to interview the world’s top scientists, psychologists, artists, environmentalists, authors, activists, philosophers and others in his quest for truth.  The root of each of his discussions stemmed from two questions, “What’s wrong with our world? and, What can we do to make it better?”

Watching “I AM” was a transformative experience.  You learn throughout Shadyac’s journey that there is a lot right with the world, foremost being that cooperation and not competition may be nature’s most fundamental operating principle.  Shadyac even points out that Darwin, who coined “survival of the fittest” only used the famous term twice, whereas, he used the word “LOVE” 95 times in his book The Descent of Man.

Shadyac’s enthusiasm and optimism is contagious throughout the film.  You’ll finish the film feeling as though you can really make a difference in the world starting simply by changing the way you think about yourself.  I would definitely recommend you watch this one.

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