Anima Mundi DVD

Phillip Moore | Tuesday, 15th April 2014
An innovative documentary about the planetary animal called Gaia and the human animal we deny at our own peril, yet a peril that is perfect in design.
Author: Peter Charles Downey
Publisher: United Natures
Publication year: 2011
RRP: £19.95

Artist, activist, and musician turned filmmaker, Peter Charles Downey, presents an inquiry into the state of the world from a Gaian perspective. He pulls together an eclectic array of imagery alongside a heavyweight roster of interviewees (Vandana Shiva, David Holmgren and Stephan Harding to name a few).

Beginning somewhat portentously the film starts with a lament for the world's current state of health. Setting the scene by exploring the challenges of climate change and peak oil, the solemn presentation shapes up as a fable for future generations. A clever use of archival footage as social commentary sits side-by-side with the clear sighted words of the interviewees. As Stephan Harding forcefully says: "We have to act now. There is no other option but to act right now. Immediately."

Enter stage permaculture, or, as Holmgren puts it 'the science of resilience'. The film looks at examples of permaculture in action (specifically in Australia) as well as giving space to the more philosophical aspects of a shift in perspective that permaculture opens. A message no doubt familiar to readers, this vital documentary threads together the topics of energy, economics, climate, ecology, place and population and how permaculture can provide real solutions.

Anima Mundi is accessible to newcomers to permaculture as well as those well versed in it. This is important to realise as the potentially overwhelming edifice of these issues can be daunting. Drawing on impassioned interviews, beautifully shot montages and a sprinkling of spirited graphics, Anima Mundi illustrates that there is indeed another way of looking at things that needn't be doom-laden. And by perceiving the soul of the world that little bit more keenly, we might also be able to take a closer look at ourselves.

Phil Moore is a writer, filmmaker and permaculture enthusiast.

Further resources

Also from Peter Charles Downey: United Natures - DVD

More from Phil Moore:

Punta Monta: Costa Rica's alternative farming

Using experimentation to create acres of multiple fruits for food sovereignty and security

Building Belize's first Earthship alongside the Mayan ruins 

Medicinal herbs: an antidote to modern medicine