In this 2010 documentary, filmmaker Tom Shadyac reevaluates his life as he interviews numerous scientists, philosophers, and anthropologists to learn about how to live in the most meaningful way. From mental illness to materialism to obsessive competition, our American society has lost its deep-rooted connection to nature. Why are so many people depressed and anxious or unsure of their purpose in life? This documentary asks these difficult questions and provides suggestions for how we can improve our quality of life. 

The moment humans separated themselves from nature, they lost their innate ability to cooperate. In American and Western societies, an anthropocentric point of view has created an unsustainable and stressed environment where domination trumps cooperation. I Am points to historical examples of how humankind’s hubris has destroyed land and communities. The key to human happiness will not be unlocked by a community that lacks connectedness, and I Am argues that once we can accept and appreciate the interconnectivity of nature and humanity, we will be better able to find happiness. 

In I Am, Tom Shadyac highlights the importance of democracy and togetherness. At the Eastern Shore Food Lab, we are hopeful that our community of thinkers and compassionate advocates will be able to build a better world for future generations. In the end, we strive to think critically about our world and then take action to make positive changes. 

 Nicole Hatfield 

I Am