Summary: This is the review of a short (20 minute) film made in 2002 by Dewitt Jones of Star Thrower Distribution. Since 2005 the author has used this in more than twenty Appreciative Inquiry programs. Almost every single person who has attended these programs has experienced the profound impact of this film.
This film review is an expression of gratitude to Dewitt Jones not just by the author but also over 500 participants (mostly senior executives across India and the USA who attended author’s programs). We are sure there must be several thousand for whom this film has proved to be a teacher and a mentor in cultivating the Appreciative Inquiry – a philosophy which makes life blissful, exuberant and gratifying.
The Review: Dewitt Jones has put the most meaningful lessons from his life in this captivating film. Dewitt grew up reading National Geographic and then for over two decades shot for the National Geographic. Recognized as one of the top photographers (two of his films were nominated for the Academy Awards)– the film captivates one with the stunning shoots and pictures. Where Jones scores over the other story tellers is his use of everyday instances from nature andnurture to inspire the viewer.
The simple stories and profound messages in this film inspire and impact you at a deep level. A few of the paradigms wehold dear appear to melt away and paveway for the more meaningful ones. The paradigms like “I won’t believe it until I see”, “survival of the fittest”, “My win is your loss” etc.get turned upside down. If you’re looking for a film which inspires you to weave a powerful vision and also provides you confidence then this is ‘the one’
I haven’t found a more impactful film, which can help you appreciate the principle of Heliotropism as applicable to ushumans. The sense of abundance you begin to see around you after watching the film is bound to increase your happiness quotient. You will tend to see the possibilities you didn’t see before; possibilities for :cultivating thriving relationships, finding success where it didn’t seem to exist or accomplishing the feats which existed only in your dreams.
Diving deeper with Dewitt you realize that – several beliefs, that so many people hold, create shallow hearts and minds blunted with intellectual paradigms. The film is a good commentary on not only understanding how limiting these beliefs can be, but also explores a few ways to enrich one’s life.
With his personal examples and through simple stories of others, Dewitt helps us grasp the power of Celebrating What’s Right with the World. No matter how hopeless a situation might appear, if we are open (really open to seeing possibilities) the world conspires to fulfill our dreams. The stories of Marion Campbell -a finest weaver of Scotlandand Henry -resulting in the Gray Clan reunion in 200 years-humble you.
If you want to see the changes occurring to and around you translate into the possibilities which help you soar higher – then this is a must watch. Effortlessly, the film convinces you to understand the importance “Who am I’ over “What I do’. You will fathom the importance of “being the best for the world”as opposed to ”becoming the best in the world”.
The inner and outer edges get sharpened when you allow yourself to be soaked in the messages from the film. I have personally known several people who have been profoundly impacted by this film resulting in the sharpened edges of positivity, self-confidence and humility. Some have found it easier to cultivate gratitude, while others have recognized the abundance in their life and still many others have found the fortitude and confidence to deal with the uncertainties of life.
The film is Dewitt’s attempt to help you set high expectations, find ways around the obstacles and find the inner commitment to pursue your dreams. It helps you broaden your definition of winning. From an Appreciative Inquiry lens I find it easy to drive home the message of amplifying what’s working rather than what’s broken; focus on opportunity rather than scarcity; and find the energy to fix what’s wrong. In a nutshell if your wish is to move beyond ‘the best you are’ then this film can play a catalytic role.
Recommended Use: When you want to approach your lifeCelebration and wish to convert the stressful changes around you into opportunities for growth, a film like this can play the role of a Catalyst.
This film can be used for inspiring teams/ groups of people, particularly when the need is to ignite their hearts & minds with optimism. This film can also be used by individuals and groups in quest for cultivating confidence, celebration and grace in their lives. ifyou resonate with Lee Ann Womack’s song ‘I Hope You Dance’ containing the spirit
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder…
…you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean…
…when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance…
…Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’…
Whether you are a teacher, parent, coach, counselor or in any profession/ role where your own growth and that of others is important then this is a must watch.
End Note: # Appreciative Inquiry is a collaborative, strength-based approach to both personal and organizational development that is proving to be highly effective in thousands of organizations and communities in several countries around the world. It is a way of bringing about change that shares leadership and learning – fully engaging everyone in the organization.
References and Links:www.appreciativeinquiry.case.edu, Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination by Jane Magruder Watkins and Bernard J. Mohr, Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management: Using AI to Facilitate Organizational Development by Sarah Lewis, Jonathan Passmore and Stefan Cantore
This article was published on FIIB Business review, volume 1, issue 2, January-March 2012.