Join us on March 23rd for a screening of A Small Good Thing at Middlebury College! The film will be followed by a Q&A with Director Pamela Tanner Boll, community organizer and cast member Shirley Edgerton, and climate change expert Bill McKibben of 350.org.
"A Small Good Thing" by Pamela Tanner Boll (2015, 71 min.) While the philosophy of “more is better” has been key to American economic success for the past 50 years, we now find ourselves backed into an isolated corner—where our devices, celebrity entertainment, dream homes and wealth aren’t making us any happier. "A Small Good Thing" explores how the American Dream has reached its end and how for most of us, greater material wealth and upward mobility are no longer possible. To find out what is taking its place, this feature documentary follows six people in one community who have recast their lives so they can live with a sense of meaning—more connected to themselves, the natural world, and the greater good.
Pamela Tanner Boll, an artist, filmmaker, writer, and activist, is the Director of Who Does She Think She Is?, a film about five artists who are mothers. She is the Co-Executive Producer of Academy Award-winning Born into Brothels, and the Executive Producer of eight documentaries: Connected, In a Dream,Our Summer in Tehran, Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Border, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Close to the Fire, andE-Team.
Shirley Edgerton is the founder, leader, and den mother of Youth Alive, Pittsfield’s only step dance and drumming performance group. Started when her children were teens, Shirley, a community organizer, quickly realized the benefits of having the kids focused on music and dance. As her children grew up, they took over coaching younger kids who now perform all over the state. But Youth Alive’s real mission reaches beyond street performances — Shirley is guiding young people to live a life of purpose. Shirley explains how her service to the kids is something that gives more than it gets – and she’s become a more open and joyful person because of it.
Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist and founder of 350.org. In A Small Good Thing, McKibben explains that the way we raise our food and how we treat the environment are forcing change. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. He is the bestselling author of many books including Eaarth and Deep Economy.