Timothy S. Bennett, Writer/Director is an artist and filmmaker who now lives in a small coastal town in Maine. Born and raised in rural Michigan, he began his inquiry into environmental and cultural issues in the late 80s. His academic background is in anthropology, religion, education and film. He is the father of three grown children.
What A Way To Go is his first feature-length documentary. His talent for “big-picture thinking,” along with his ability to see through the taboos, denials, and orthodoxies of the dominant culture, combined with his poetic writing style, makes for a documentary experience that is both compelling and informative.
“Something happens when you read four hundred articles on climate change. And half a dozen books on oil depletion. Something happens when you spend a day Googling “mass extinction”, or ” oceans”, or “depleted uranium”. Something happens when you spend three long years delving deeply into the present global predicament, and into the economic, political, spiritual, psychological and cultural forces that have brought us to a point in history where we can seriously ponder the extinction of the human species, and the mass extinction of much of the life on this planet. Something happens when you not only look at it, but also allow yourself to feel it – the grief, the outrage, the loneliness, and the fear.
Something happens. Denial fades away. Denial cannot endure in the face of that much information, and that depth of feeling.
After long decades of activism and effort, planetary ecosystems are closer to collapse than they have ever been. I can think of three basic reasons for this. First, we have largely failed to look at the whole thing at once. Second, we’ve refrained from deeply feeling our predicament. And third, we haven’t been asking the right questions of the right people.
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire is an attempt to fill in these missing pieces. By looking at as much of the whole as we can, by creating a feeling experience of that whole, and by asking the deep questions of culture, psychology and spirit that lie at the root of our situation, it is our intention that What a Way to Go will break through the denial that has us locked in inaction.”
Sally Erickson, Producer, is an artist, psychotherapist, community organizer, and organizational consultant. She was born in Washington State where she developed a love of, and commitment to, the natural world. Experiences of wilderness vision-questing deepened that commitment. She now lives with husband Tim Bennett in Maine. Sally is the mother of two grown children. She brings maturity, insight, organizational development expertise and inspiration to What a Way to Go.
“Since the early 1970′s I knew something was wrong with how we were living. Years of psychotherapy, involvement in building and living in an intentional community, and a variety of spiritual practices allowed me to create a life largely outside the mainstream. After twenty years as a psychotherapist and with my children grown, I realized that I had an itch to do something more than alleviate the suffering of individuals in my private practice. There was something bigger, much bigger, that needed to be addressed.
And then I met Tim Bennett who told me he wanted to make a documentary about how we are destroying the planet, what that’s doing to us, and why nobody’s talking about it.
Over the last seven years we joined forces, both personally and professionally, to offer a wake-up call. The human species is teetering on the edge of extinction. It’s time to start talking about that. It is my intention that What A Way To Go provoke lengthy dialogue about what is most pressing at this time in human history. Will we choose to create ways for humans to inhabit the earth that regenerate and renew the life-support systems we depend on?”