Unity is the 2015 follow up to the the award winning 2005 film by writer, director Shaun Monson, Earthlings.
Earthlings was narrated by actor Joaquin Phoenix but, for Unity, Joaquin Phoenix joined 99 other celebrities to provide 1 voice and 1 message for the first time ever in documentary history (click image to enlarge).
The films central premise is that we are “not the same, but equal.”
The film argues that each of us has within us the ability to love and to hate, to be kind and to be cruel, and conflict arises the moment we begin to label and see others as opposite or different to ourselves.
As Geoffrey Rush explained at the global premier, writer/director Shaun Monson suggests:
Consider thinking of this film as a yoga class: it will stretch you, burn you inside, and at times your mind will even be asked to confront and hold positions longer than it is comfortable doing so, but afterward, when all is said and done, if we’ve done our job correctly, you should feel renewed, if not reborn.
About Cognitive Dissonance
Essential to criticality, or The Art of Critical Thinking, is being able to critically think about controversial topics because, when we do, we are forced into the important process of cognitive dissonance.
Encyclopedia Britannica defines cognitive dissonance as:
The mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in people is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: they reject, explain away, or avoid the new information.
Thus, being presented with reliable data that strongly challenges our worldview, we are directly challenging our preconceived beliefs and assumptions.
Developing and mastering the ability to form objective opinions and make informed decisions, we do not “reject, explain away, or avoid the new information” (cognitive dissonance). This raises our awareness (or our consciousness).
Instead, we explore with open-minded examination facts that open up our world view, and accept reliable evidence as a possible new truth – a new narrative.
Unity proposes that the evolution of human consciousness requires us to go beyond perceiving opposites in one another, and instead to see humanity, the animals, the environment, and all conscious life, as one unit.
Monson explains the film shines a light on all life’s different contrasts, and shows us how everything is also the same, taking us on a journey beyond belief, to “see if by the end of the picture, we no longer perceive opposites in one another.”
The film presents this message in chapters (Cosmic, Mind, Body, Heart and Soul), and is available on iTunes, Amazon, Microsoft, Google Play, Vimeo On Demand, Vudu and M-Go.
Although Unity is not available for free, the film was released along with a 10th anniversary edition of the original film Earthlings, which can be watched for free here:
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