An Ecology of Mind

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Site Price: $95
Home Price: $59.95
3 yr Streaming: $275
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Subjects: Anthropology, Biology, Ecology, Environment, Ethics, Nature, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Urban Planning

Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Nora Bateson
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 60 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2010
Available in French: No

A daughter's loving film portrait of one of the 20th century's most influential thinkers, Gregory Bateson, anthropologist, systems theorist and ecologist.

AN ECOLOGY OF MIND is a portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, and systems theorist. His story is lovingly told by his youngest daughter, Nora, with footage from Gregory's own films shot in the 1930s with his wife Margaret Mead in Bali and New Guinea, along with photographs, filmed lectures, and interviews.

Gregory Bateson was a man who studied the interrelationships of the complex systems we live in with scientific rigor and enormous integrity. His theories, such as "the double bind" and "the pattern which connects", continue to impact the fields of anthropology, psychiatry, information science, cybernetics, urban planning, biology, and ecology, challenging people to think in new ways.
Through this film, Nora Bateson sets out to show that his ideas are not just fodder for academic theory, but can help instruct a way of life. She presents his thinking using a richly personal perspective, focusing on the stories Bateson used to present his ideas and how the beauty of life itself provided the framework of his life's pursuits.
Hoping to inspire its audience to see their lives within a larger system, glistening with symmetry, play, and metaphor, AN ECOLOGY OF MIND is an invitation to ask the kinds of questions that could help thread the world back together from the inside.

"An Ecology of Mind is a spell-binding, lyrical, and very important film about Gregory Bateson and his revolutionary ideas that helped launch the modern ecology movement...In the 1960s and 1970s, Bateson became a mentor to students, seasoned academics, and environmentalists, providing the language and insights that linked ecology to general systems, psychology, sociology, epistemology, and broad theories of science. Along the way, Bateson conceived and illuminated some of the most significant ideas of the era: cybernetics, double-bind, changeability, and the pattern that connects. The film effectively conveys the breadth, depth, rigor, and dynamism of Gregory Bateson's contributions to science and humanity."
- Rex Weyler, Co-founder, Greenpeace International

"A brilliant film about a brilliant thinker...Bateson's ideas are not only still relevant today, they have become even more so as the global world faces challenges of how to bring systems thinking to bear on solutions...I was a student of Bateson's in the late 1970s while he was a scholar in residence at the Lindisfarne Foundation and was finishing his seminal book, Mind and Nature. The experience was extraordinary. This film is the only one I know of that explores the full range of thought and humanity of Gregory Bateson, a giant in the world of systems thinking. I think An Ecology of Mind would be excellent in small classroom or seminar situations in which its showing could be followed by free discussion, because the film works best in generating ideas."
- Tyler Volk, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies,
New York University, Author, Metapatterns Across Space, Time, and Mind

DVD Features
Includes extended interviews with Mary Catherine Bateson, Fritjof Capra, Jerry Brown, Terry Deacon, and Tim Keanini, plus scene selection and SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Audience Award, Best Documentary Feature, Santa Cruz Film Festival
Best Documentary, Spokane International Film Festival
John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis, Media Ecology Association

Screened at:
Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Interactive Media Festival
Vancouver International Film Festival
Bioneers Moving Image Festival
Haida Gwaii Film Festival
Cinema Pacific Film Festival
Sedona Film Festival


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