Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  93 minutes
Date:  2012
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Force Of Nature

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Inspirational distillation of the life, thoughts and legacy of famed Canadian scientist, broadcaster and activist, David Suzuki.

Force Of Nature

David Suzuki, iconic Canadian scientist, educator, broadcaster, and activist shares his powerful autobiography of ideas--forged by the major social, scientific, cultural and political events of the past 70 years.

The film weaves together scenes from the places and events that shaped Suzuki's life with a filming of his Last Lecture, which he describes as 'a distillation of my life and thoughts, my legacy, what I want to say before I die.'

He articulates a core, urgent message: we have exhausted the limits of the biosphere and it is imperative that we re-think our relationship with the natural world. Suzuki looks unflinchingly at the strains on our interconnected web of life--and out of our dire present circumstances he offers up a positive blueprint for sustainability and survival.

'This beautifully crafted film weaves together two remarkable stories. One is the story of the life and work of David Suzuki, surely one of the wisest people of our era. And through Suzuki's telling, we hear the story of how we humans now find ourselves dangerously estranged from the natural world on which we are totally dependent. Suzuki inspires us to think hard about who we are, how we find meaning through each other, and what world we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.' James Gustave Speth, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School, Author, America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy and The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

'Force of Nature provides an intimate portrait of David Suzuki's emergence as the scientist-sage of the environmental movement. Gorgeously filmed and eloquently told, it interweaves the story of Suzuki's life with the world's awakening to environmental awareness. This documentary is a gift to our evolving environmental consciousness.' Paul Wapner, Professor, Global Environmental Politics Program, American University, Author, Living Through the End of Nature and Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics

''What we do to the air, we do directly to ourselves.' David Suzuki grabs our attention with this stark reminder about how we humans are affecting our own life support systems. This awesome movie calls for immediate action to solve the dire environmental and social crises now facing humanity. Using the story of his life, Suzuki slowly builds the case for limits to growth and the importance of health of the biosphere. He gives us hope in his belief that humans are capable of learning to live in harmony with nature by rediscovering our intimate connection with and dependence on nature. As Suzuki says, we need the 'imagination to dream and the will to make it a reality.'' Polly Walker, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

'I loved it! David Suzuki has inspired many of us as an environmental leader, educator, and public scientist for many many years...Weaving an eloquent recent lecture by Dr. Suzuki's with poignant vignettes about his childhood and early professional life, Force of Nature helps us to understand what shapes, drives, and inspires David Suzuki and his passionate efforts to change our environmental ways. This is a film I'll show my undergraduates.' Kent Curtis, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Eckerd College

'David Suzuki is truly an inspirational figure--with a charisma of Carl Sagan and the sensibility of Rachel Carson...No one can come away from this film without coming to know that it is time for humankind to face its future.' Mark Lytle, Professor of Historical Studies, Chair of Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College, Author, The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring and the Rise of the Environmental Movement

'This video goes beyond a simple presentation...[it] transcends the school environment and could even be used outside of the classroom in club settings...Force of Nature is so tastefully done that it draws in the viewer and makes them feel as if Dr. Suzuki is speaking directly to them...This video is a treasure and a must have for every teacher of science. The personal and social perspectives presented throughout the video will resonate in the minds of every student who sees it and may even encourage students to find a new career in order to follow in the footsteps of this great scientist of the modern world!' Janet Acerra, NSTA Recommends

'A wonderful blend of his progressive ideas for solving the world's most pressing problems and a personal biography of a very remarkable person...I find the balance to be excellent and highly recommend this documentary for both its ideas and its story.' Clyde Zaidins, University of Colorado, Science Books and Films

'David Suzuki is a compelling and sincere speaker who makes scientific concepts accessible. The film uses storytelling, scientific discussion, and gentle humor rather than shock tactics to convey its message, and therefore moves at a thoughtful pace...Recommended for junior high school, high school, and academic libraries.' Wendy Shook, Middlebury College, Educational Media Reviews Online

'While urgent, Suzuki's apocalyptic message is not presented in a polemical manner, making it more likely to be listened to by a wide range of viewers. Recommended.' Video Librarian

'Makes a convincing case that the Earth cannot long support the environmental attacks being inflicted upon it...The combination of personal narrative with a global perspective makes this very valuable for both lessons in environment and 20th-century history.' Eva VonAncken, formerly Trinity-Pawling School, School Library Journal

'Reveals how precarious humanity's current situation is...Force of Nature is worthy of the highest recommendation especially for public and school library DVD collections.' The Midwest Book Review

'Suzuki is entertaining and enlightening...The eloquent scientist, who is facing 'the last part of his life' with serenity, cautions viewers to care for our planet. A deserving tribute.' Candace Smith, Booklist

'A dire warning delivered in a reasonable, friendly voice about the imminent destruction of the biosphere that sustains humankind. Dr. Suzuki's upbeat tone is the spoonful of sugar that makes the bitter medicine go down.' Stephen Holden, New York Times

'What sets Force of Nature apart is the sweeping diversity of his life...Gunnarsson ably juxtaposes the septuagenarian geneticist's personal reflections with scenes from the lecture, and Suzuki's probing, bittersweet recollections provide genuine insight into his gift for making connections most of us could never conceive.' Mark Holcomb, The Village Voice

'Suzuki's message that humans have exhausted the resources of the biosphere and need to rethink their relationship with the natural world may be a familiar one, but it bears repeating.' Alissa Simon, Variety

'Engaging...mixes passionate environmental arguments with a warm biographical portrait...Force of Nature provides a welcome humanistic element to go along with its cautionary arguments about our endangered relationship with the natural world.' Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

'Possibly the most convincing and fascinating argument yet heard on every person's right to a clean Earth. It's a speech easily on par with the greatest orations of the last 50 years...And as with all great speeches, this one is ultimately not just about the speaker, but the lasting power of the ideas he conveys.' Guy Dixon, Globe and Mail

'Provocative, inspirational...Suzuki comes across as articulate, candid, energetic, charismatic and even a bit funny at times...It's uplifting to know that a powerful documentary like Force of Nature comes along every now and then.' Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

'The documentary reminds us of Suzuki's humanitarian legacy and the art of communication about issues that are vital to all of us and our ultimate survival.' Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile

'A priceless treasure that should be seen by everyone...A masterful interweaving...Gives meaningful perspective to our current situation...[Suzuki] is a brilliant scientist, but also a wise grandfather who explains how our desire for an endless-growth economy at the cost of our biosphere is an ignorant path to suicide.' Cyndy Patrick, Ecoprowler

'An engaging, informed, and passionate eco-activist...[An] enormously appealing documentary.' Spirituality and Practice

Citation

Main credits

Suzuki, David T. (author)
Gunnarsson, Sturla (film producer)
Gunnarsson, Sturla (film director)
Tufford, Janice (film producer)

Other credits

Edited by Nick Hector; director of photography, Tony Westman; written by Sturla Gunnarsson; lecture written by David Suzuki.


Distributor credits

Sturla Gunnarsson, Yves J. Ma, Janice Tufford

Sturla Gunnarsson, Yves J. Ma, Janice Tufford
Sturla Gunnarsson
Executive Producer: Laszlo Barna, Tracey Friesen, Steven Silver
Cinematography: Tony Westman
Editor: Nick Hector
Music: Joel S. Silver
Produced by Entertainment One in Co-production with the National Film Board of Canada in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and with the participation of Planet Green

Docuseek2 subjects

Climate Change
Ecopsychology
Race and Racism
Scientists

Distributor subjects

Activism
Aging
Anthropology
Biodiversity
Biography
Biology
Canadian Studies
Climate Change/Global Warming
Conservation
Consumerism
Cosmology
Death And Dying
Earth Science
Ecology
Economics
Endangered Species
Environmental Ethics
Forests and Rainforests
Genetics
Geography
Global Issues
Habitat
History
Human Rights
Indigenous Peoples
Japan
Life Science
Multicultural Studies
Natural Resources
Population
Race and Racism
Science, Technology, Society
Social Justice
Sociology
Toxic Chemicals
War and Peace
Water
Wetlands

Keywords

David Suzuki, last lecture, biology, biosphere, lecture, Canadian, Canada, the nature of things, web of life, bluefin tuna, autobiography, sustainability, racism,; internment camps, Japanese internment, WWII, civil rights, genetics, Pearl Harbor, logging battle, Haida Gwaii, breath, Harlow Shapley, argon, sacred places, Severn Suzuki, Copper Bay, cosmology, ecological footprint, Hiroshima, fruit flies, Oakridge, relentless growth, UBC, evolution, science on television,"Force Of Nature",Bullfrog Films

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