"When you know your banker, your grocer, the animals you eat and how they are handled, you feel a connection and it puts one on notice. We feel more responsibility, and perhaps more compassion, which is deeply satisfying, and is the whole point of the film."
A Small Good Thing is uplifting and life affirming. If you’re at a crossroads, experiencing “earth-hunger” like William James Dawson, or just need some inspiration, this documentary will renew your spirit and might even cause you to reflect on ways you could improve your own quality of life and begin to live each day a little more meaningfully.
I had the good fortune to see "A Small Good Thing" last week at The Fenn School in Concord, MA. And the extra treat was having film-maker Pamela Tanner Boll on hand for a lively Q & A afterwards. What a thought-provoking and important documentary film! It was fascinating to watch the subjects of the film make life choices in favor of personal relationships, simplicity, environmental concerns, and healthy living as opposed to increased financial benefit which so often can limit one's real happiness. The film contains poignant nuggets of truth, some of which are surprising, and which most of us don't think enough about in our busy daily lives. "A Small Good Thing" is an artfully directed and intellectually engaging film definitely worth seeing. And it may even make you re-evaluate your priorities. Bravo!!
So glad I made time to come see the film A Small Good Thing! It really touched my heart; such a beautiful piece and so well put together.
We all have an amazing opportunity for healing and positive change when we connect with our community, but this connection doesn’t happen on its own. We need to actively pursue it ... A Small Good Thing is a powerful reminder that this pursuit is entirely possible.
A Small Good Thing is exactly the type of film we need to slow down and watch to be inspired to slow down even more and talk about what really matters. As part of Middlebury's mindfulness initiative, many departments on campus came together to screen this film. Our panel discussion was thought provoking and continued the next day in the classroom. More so than ever, college institutions need to be teaching students how to connect to place, one’s self and community. In a time where students are struggling and hurting more than ever, A Small Good Thing gives us hope!
No matter where you stand on the have or don’t-have scale, Boll implores that we all 'need to make time to be happier, healthier and better off.' It’s hard to argue with that.
Boll stitches together a portrait of how 'small good things' — community-minded agriculture, yoga instruction, even cycling with friends — can, piece by piece, yield richer, happier lives.
Boll doesn’t believe her film is telling people to make wholesale changes in their lives, but provides a contemplation of doing more with less and improving an individual life in small, simple strokes (and small, good things).
I was trying to find a way to diffuse the language of “activist” and “mystic.” I think those are terms that shut people down because they seem too daunting. The reason I love A Small Good Thing is that the idea of small acts of kindness -- small initiatives that are not small at all, they’re significant, but we say they’re small because they’re not Bill Gates, they’re not getting all the media coverage. Any kind of storytelling that really allows people to see themselves as an activist and a mystic is what I was looking for and the film’s perfect for that.
When the film ended, there was such a long and thoughtful silence (in the best possible way). We had a half hour question led discussion surrounding how each person defines community and the meaning it holds for them. Several people are in the midst of transitioning to new communities and the film was especially meaningful for them in thinking forward about how to develop new communities in the places they are transitioning to. It was a wonderful, and thoughtful, evening.
"The film, beautifully shot and scored, has a point but is not a manifesto."