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I AM, the documentary

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

It was, I think, the fall of 2010. I was sitting at my desk writing charts at the end of a long day of seeing patients at my clinic in Seattle. I was feeling a bit sad, and more than a little lonely. The sun comes up late and goes down early in Seattle in the fall and winter months. It is easy to feel like your life is nothing but work when it is dark when you get to work and dark when you leave.

As I was charting I got an unexpected call from my friend Dana.

Dana: What are you doing right now?

Me: I'm writing my charts (what else would I be doing? I don't have a life)

Dana: You can do that tomorrow. You need to get in your car right now and meet me at the movie theater in the U. district.

Me: *pause* But, what? I mean... I have charts... Um.... (thinking - you were just feeling sad and lonely sitting here working by yourself for yet another evening - duh.. do it!)

OK - Um, what are we doing?

Dana: I got two tickets to something, it is a surprise, but I have a feeling you need to see it.

Me: OK - on my way

What she had gotten tickets for was the premiere of a film documentary called I AM by Tom Shadyac. It was a pre-release showing, the writer / director would be there in person, leading a discussion / reflection session with the audience afterward. It was magical. It was like the universe had heard the weeping of my heart and answered by bringing me to that place to remind me that I was not actually alone.

This brilliant documentary explores the questions:

  • What is wrong in the world? and

  • What can I do to fix it?

The conclusion (spoiler alert) is that we have all been fed a lie. We have been told that competition and conflict are our fundamental nature. The opposite is actually true. Our deepest nature is cooperation and connection. This is true on a biological, biochemical and genetic level. There is science to back this up. The visual and musical storytelling in this movie are beautiful, as is the message.

All through the pandemic, as my heart broke watching people hurt others in fear as they thought they were acting to protect themselves, I wished that I could sit everyone down and watch this film. So, after writing the Covid vaccine manifesto series, I thought I would share this beautiful movie and its hopeful message with you.

Here is the trailer:

If you want to watch the movie there are several options. You can rent it on Amazon prime video, as well iTunes and YouTube. I recommend starting at their website,

I wish I had actually met Tom Shadyac that evening. I was so overwhelmed emotionally that I didn't think I would be able to say anything intelligent. Now I just wish I had said "thank you" and given him a hug.

Anyway. I hope you take time to watch this movie, and I hope you find it as inspiring and healing as I did.

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