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Symbiotic Earth – How Lynn Margulis rocked the boat

 
“Beautiful and powerful film…The film not only captures Margulis’ work so vividly and elegantly, it also left room for some fascinating and nuanced disagreements.” Yarden Katz, Fellow in Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School


 
A film by John Feldman
147 minutes | English SDH Captions
The film is divided into ten essays. Each essay may be played individually or you can play them in blocks. We suggest playing the 3-minute Introduction before playing an individual essay, or blocks.

Accompanied by a Comprehensive 86-page Study Guide by Dorion Sagan and John Feldman.

Explore the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a brilliant and radical biological scientist, whose unconventional theories challenged the male-dominated scientific community and are today fundamentally changing how we look at ourselves, evolution, and the environment.

As a young scientist in the 1960s, Margulis was ridiculed when she first proposed that symbiosis was a key driver of evolution, but she persisted. Instead of the mechanistic view that life evolved through random genetic mutations and competition, she presented a symbiotic narrative in which bacteria joined together to create the complex cells that formed animals, plants and all other organisms – which together form a multi-dimensional living entity that covers the Earth. Humans are not the pinnacle of life with the right to exploit nature, but part of this complex cognitive system in which each of our actions has repercussions.

Filmmaker John Feldman traveled globally to meet Margulis’ cutting-edge colleagues and continually asked: What happens when the truth changes? SYMBIOTIC EARTH examines the worldview that has led to climate change and extreme capitalism and offers a new approach to understanding life that encourages a sustainable and symbiotic lifestyle.

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“Symbiotic Earth is the must see biology film of the century…Should be watched widely, by students and teachers in every high school, college and university. The option of purchase for community viewings is perfect. This film has the potential to inspire generations of thinkers, scientists, global citizens, and leaders.” – David Morimoto, Chair, Natural Science and Mathematics, Lesley University

“Symbiotic Earth offers a fascinating and rewarding educational experience while conveying a key conceptual breakthrough in the life sciences. It will enrich and enliven college and AP high school courses, as well as all of us with an appetite for discovery about life in Earth. This film is of singular importance at this historical moment because it features both a paradigm shift in evolutionary science and the woman scientist whose work made it possible.” – Joanna Macy, deep ecologist, Buddhist scholar, Author, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World

“An amazing film…I was on the edge of my seat the entire film, completely engrossed in the story and the journey of Lynn and her contributions to science and our understanding of life on Planet Earth…It really activated me.” – Joshua Fouts, Executive Director, Bioneers

Review & Commentary