I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better? The filmmaker behind the inquiry is Tom Shadyac, one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners and the creative force behind such blockbusters as Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, and Bruce Almighty. However, in I AM, Shadyac steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged with a new sense of purpose, determined to share his own awakening to his prior life of excess and greed, and to investigate how he as an individual, and we as a race, could improve the way we live and walk in the world.
Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a twenty-first century quest for enlightenment. Meeting with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch – Shadyac appears on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig. An irrepressible “Everyman” who asks tough questions, but offers no easy answers, he takes the audience to places it has never been before, and presents even familiar phenomena in completely new and different ways. The result is a fresh, energetic, and life-affirming film that challenges our preconceptions about human behavior while simultaneously celebrating the indomitable human spirit.
“[Tom Shadyac] traveled around, enlisting the aid of what he calls “significant minds” — journalists, scientists, spiritual leaders like Desmond Tutu, scholars like Noam Chomsky — to understand life’s essential questions. I Am is his documentary about his quest.” – Rachel Saltz, New York Times
“That weary guy reaching the top of a mountain peak to consult with a wise man about the meaning of life has long been a staple cartoon in The New Yorker and Playboy. I Am, a surprising philosophical inquiry-cum-documentary from, of all people, Tom Shadyac, is a 21st century equivalent of that cartoon, though despite his funnyman credentials, Shadyac intends no joke.” – Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
Watch the trailer here: