I offer a selection of short films here. Most are instructional or informational. In some cases I will use these as a resource for clients and will create an interactive format for this purpose. Films in the public domain may be watched here. In other cases I will provide a short excerpt or a password protected link to the full film.
Breaking the Chains
Group Identity, the drive to create a group (and therefore an out-group) is derived from our evolution for survival which was improved by the assimilation into groups “like us” that would accept us, and improved our ability to quickly identify those who were not.
The French philosopher and writer Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) was at the height of her influence after the publication of her landmark feminist treatise The Second Sex (1949) and of her acclaimed novel The Mandarins (1954). She makes a compelling point for the value of ideology even as she distances the values of the existentialist cause from, in the interviewer’s words, the ‘noisy, rowdy jazz-loving young people’ they inspired. In this wide-ranging interview, Beauvoir also discusses her views on the intersection of philosophy and political activism, and the condition of women worldwide, offering insights into the cultural moment as well as her deeply held beliefs on philosophy and the human condition.
‘I’m against all forms of oppression’ – Simone de Beauvoir
Group conformity and the Asch experiments
The Asch conformity experiments were a series of psychological experiments conducted by Solomon Asch during the 1950s. The experiments revealed the degree to which a person’s own opinions are influenced by those of groups. Asch found that people were willing to ignore reality and give an incorrect answer in order to conform to the rest of the group.
Small is Beautiful by E F Schumacher
Small is Beautiful is E F Schumacher’s stimulating and controversial study of world economies. This remarkable book is as relevant today and its themes as pertinent and thought-provoking as when it was first published thirty years ago. Small is Beautiful looks at the economic structure of the Western world in a revolutionary way. Schumacher maintains that Man’s current pursuit of profit and progress, which promotes giant organisations and increased specialisation, has in fact resulted in gross economic ineffieciency, environmental pollution and inhumane working conditions. Schumacher challenges the doctrine of economic, technological and scientific specialisation and proposes a system of Intermediate Technology, based on smaller working units, communal ownership and regional workplaces utilising local labour and resources.
The sciences are pointing toward a new sense of a living world. The cosmos is like a developing organism, and so is our planet. The laws of Nature may be more like habits. Maybe the sun is conscious, and so are other stars, and entire galaxies. If so, what about the mind of the universe as a whole? Rupert Sheldrake explores some of the implications of this idea.
Rupert Sheldrake, The Conscious Universe
Zur Person Hannah Arendt
“The venture seems clear to me. One exposes oneself to the light of the public. As a person. Although I’m of the opinion that one must not appear and act in public serif consciously. Yet I know that in every action that takes place a person is expressed by his action and his speech. Speech is also a form of action. That is one form of venture. The other is we start something. We weave our strand into a network of relations. What comes of it we never know. We all need to be able to say: Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do. That is true of all action. Simply and concretely true, because one cannot know. That is what is meant by a venture. I’d say this venture is only possible when there is a trust in mankind. A trust which is hard to formulate. But one which is fundamental. A trust in what is human in all people. Otherwise such a venture is impossible.” ~ Hannah Arendt
A man recalls his ‘instinctive decision to remain strangers’ with a fellow passenger who took the same two-hour train in and out of New York City every weekday for 15 years. Avoiding the clichéd scolding of our modern lack of connection, Between Strangers (2019) contemplates the somewhat paradoxical anonymity of crowded commuter trains, subways cars and city streets.
Psyche Films, Between Strangers