Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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Shelley Morhaim
Filmmaker and Environmental Activist

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What Else She Said

[My film] The Next Industrial Revolution came out of a combination of work I'd been doing. I'd been doing feature movies. ...Someone who came to the premier [of Mixed Blessings, my first feature] was on the board of a local foundation, the Koininia foundation which promotes projects that [deal with] environmental and spiritual aspects... He knew about my work in Earthome, so he knew that I was an environmentalist and said 'How come you haven't made a film about the environment.' He said 'We'd be really interested in seeing a grant proposal for such a film.'

I hadn't really thought about making documentaries. I was really focused in the feature film angle but I felt that I can't say no to that kind of a proposal! So I quickly wrote a grant proposal and submitted it to them. [Initially ] it was for doing a biography of Thomas Berry, a noted cultural historian who deals with the spiritual aspects of environmentalism... I went down to North Carolina to meet with Thomas - who is an amazing man and scholar and in his late 80s - and talked with him about what I wanted to do...He's written a number of books on the need to reinvent human culture from the ground up. That all of our institutions [need] to come out of a different way of looking [at the world]. So I said I wanted to make a film about him and he said 'No! You want to make a film about what I've written. I've said we have to reinvent human culture and if that's true, people are out there reinventing human culture and that's what your film should be about.' Which led me to about a year's worth of research on different things that are going on and indeed he's right, human culture is in the process of reinvention..... So I chose two men, William McDonough and Michael Braungart. William McDonough was an American architect who at that time was the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia... and Michael Braungart who is a German chemist and one of the founders of the German Green Party...The Next Industrial Revolution is really saying that this is not a question of trying to do less, [but] that we really need to take our design principles from nature. Nature doesn't do with less, it's actually quite abundant, the more the better from nature's point of view. It has its own checks and balances, but it has certain rules that nothing can violate.

One of them being that nature is totally dependent on current solar income. It doesn't dig up the past, it only uses what we are getting today and there's no reason humans can't do this too. The other piece is probably the most startling piece is that waste equals food. Which means in nature there is no waste, there is no such thing as waste because what is waste for one is always food for another. If we made our human products like that there is no limit on our productivity because everything is reused at the same high level not down-cycled like the way we recycle paper.

How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Shelley Morhaim on PATH TO ACTIVISM." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Shelley Morhaim on PATH TO ACTIVISM," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.