Increasingly I am finding pockets of God’s truth in places I wouldn’t necessarily expect it. Then the places I would expect to hear Truth, I don’t. Last Friday I watched Tom Shadyac’s new documentary, I Am, which spoke Truth in some unexpected ways.
Tom Shadyac, who directed such films as Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor and Ace Venture: Pet Detective, was experiencing all that Hollywood offered. After a bike accident which resulted in a brain injury, he ventured into his own dark night of the soul. During this time he pondered what his last message to the world might be. I Am chronicles Shadyac’s journey to answer two questions:
- What’s wrong with our world?
- What can we do about it?
Shadyac and his small crew traveled the world asking scientists, researchers and philosophers for answers to these questions. It amazed me that most of these thinkers were talking about the Christian story even though they didn’t say it explicitly. There were some elements that were New Age philosophies but most of the discussion finds its origin in the Christian story. I found the idea that we are each built for cooperation, not competition to be an interesting idea. Scientists are finding a case for this in nature and even argue that Darwin stressed love and cooperation in his writing much for than the idea of survival of the fittest.
The other interesting storyline through the movie is how Shadyac changes his personal lifestyle as a result of this dark night of the soul. He realizes that he is part of the consumer culture that he is speaking out against and sells his huge mansion. The end of the movie shows him biking into work from his mobile home in Malibu. Shadyac sums up his philosophy with the following quote of St. Augustine, “Determine what God has given you, and take from it what you need; the remainder is needed by others.”
I would definitely recommend the movie to those seeking the deeper things of life. Take in the movie on its own terms and dialogue about it with others. After truly experiencing the movie I know it will change your outlook on life and impact your daily life.
Here’s a preview of the movie: