A hummingbird calls out to the world

Earth Day was observed worldwide on Sunday, April 22.

Among the many activities that took place that day was the premiere of a new documentary film, Call of the Hummingbird, at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival.

Its promotional material says the film picks up from where An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore’s Oscar-award winning film on climate change) left off: the film raises questions about what we need to change even about the way we make change.

The film, made by Alice Klein, a magazine editor and documentary filmmaker in Toronto, tracks the 13 days when some 1,000 teachers, eco-activists, farmers, Mayans, Rastafarians, holistic health-workers, non-governmental organisation executives and student leaders from all over Latin America and a few from Europe and North America camped out together in central Brazil in 2005.


Their purpose was to live on the land and co-create a temporary peace eco-village in harmony with nature and each other. It wasn’t easy or harmonious. There were problems with garbage, sanitation and, not surprisingly given the diversity of their backgrounds, simply getting along with each other.

According to the film’s website:

It turns out that this is no easy task. Welcome to Survivor for social change addicts.

This verite journey documented in autumn 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, by a small crew of three Canadians, two Americans and one Mexican, was propelled by a sense of urgency that almost anyone reading the news feels these days.

In a story datelined 21 April 2007 filed from Toronto, Inter Press Service quoted Alice Klein as saying:
“This world is ending; we need to lay the foundations for a new world. We have a great opportunity to make a better world.”

The report added:
“There is very little training or study in our formal education systems about conflict resolution and how to get along with each other,” says Klein, noting that, instead, we are constantly exposed to violent and conflict-ridden programming in our media.

Watch clips from Call of the Hummingbird

Read Earth Day press release for Call of the Hummingbird

One Response to “A hummingbird calls out to the world”

  1. Sandra Says:

    Hi. Thanks for this news. It sounds like a great film. But I just wonder – beyond film festivals and one-off broadcasts, how else will this film be seen by tens of millions who need to receive its message? Lots of excellent docu movies are made, but are limited to festival circuits and to a few broadcasts. Some never even get on TV. I’m also curious if the viewers in all parts of Brazil — where this was shot – will ever get to see it on their TV channels? If not, why not? It’s not just enough to make good films, but they need also to be distributed as widely as possible, BEYOND the comfort zones of broadcasters and festivals. We hope Alice Klein will take note. Cheers, Sandra

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