Release Date: September 6th, 2006 (7:30 Reception/ 8:30 Premiere at Helen Mills Theater) by Monterey Media and FFM Entertainment.
September 8th, 2006 (Landmark Kendall Square in Boston, MA and Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC)
DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2006.
Directed by Turk Pipkin.
Click here to purchase tickets to the New York City Premiere
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about a variety of global problems and their solutions according to Nobel Prize winners.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Nobelity is structured like a well-written essay with and introduction, thesis, plenty of support with reliable sources and a logical conclusion. Director Turk Pipkin wonders two loaded questions: Will everything really be okay? Are we going to leave a better world for future generations? Wisely, he turns to Nobel Prize winners who don’t have a hidden/selfish agenda when answering such provocative questions and provide many kernels of truth. Pipkin organizes the experts into segments with different headings, namely: Decisions, Challenges, Disparities, Changes, Knowledge, Persistence, Peace, Reason and Love. Each of these segments logically flows from one to the other without seeming the least bit confusing or distracting. It’s fascinating just to listen to these experts talk because not only are they articulate, lively and, obviously, smart, but Pipkin also asks them excellent questions. Naturally, excellent questions lead to excellent answers and a conclusion that makes a lot of sense based on all of the supporting evidence or interviews. Moreover, the beautiful cinematography and picturesque scenery throughout this film keeps your eyes glued to the screen from beginning to end.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: There’s an abundance of insight to take away from this film and make you think about issues that truly matter in the long run. The following are only some bits of insight from each expert which might make you tempted to write down. Steve Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner in Physics, states that many political policies, such as those of Global Warming, are clearly made without our descendents in mind—politicians don’t care about our children because they simply don’t vote. Rick Smalley, a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, lists ten fundamental global issues or challenges with energy being #1. Not surprisingly, he predicts that by the mid-Century, significant shortages of fossil fuel energy will occur if other sources of energy aren’t found. Pipkin also interviews Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize winner in Medicide, who talks about diseases and disparities in life expectancy between the U.S./Europe and other countries. He also admits that Bush lied when he promised to fund HIV/AIDS research with 15 billion dollars for the next five years. Pipkin then wonders whether Americans don’t care about the millions of children who die all around the world or do they simply not know enough to care? Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work eliminating landmines, wisely states that peace is hard work to make the world a better place; it’s not the cliché image of a rainbow and a dove. Ahmed Zewail, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, says that the key to toleration is to learn how to build the bridges between humans, cultures and nations. Also, the study of science allows for rational thinking which, in turn, reduces dogmas—all scientists around the world essentially speak the same language. In a particularly moving segment, Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, solves many problems in Africa by simply improving the environment, i.e. by planting trees. Maathai seeks to improve the livelihood of Africans by giving them courage and confidence with empowering/informing them to take the initiative to care about themselves. She emphasizes stating that development doesn’t come until people work with their own hands and engage themselves—they concurrently change the environment and themselves. Sir Joseph Rolblat, Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work eliminating nuclear weapons, basically states that nuclear weapons reduction talks have ceased and, unless the U.S. signs an agreement to get rid of their 30,000 nuclear weapons, the entire human race could potentially be wiped out. Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, optimistically believes in the power of reason. He recognizes that there are bigger killers in this world than just terrorists and blames the hunger problems on lack of money. Finally, Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, states a very powerful message: God loves everyone and that we should all collaborate as a family. He says to remember that the sea is made up of drops of water and that what you do and where you are is of significance. This all relates to Williams’ simple yet important message that to change the world, people have to get off their asses and work hard to achieve their goals. When are your goals quixotic? That’s a question for a different documentary. At least, after watching Nobelity, you’ll know that having a purpose in life and trying hard to pursue it is beneficial not only for yourself and for society as well.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Enlightening. A thoroughly engaging, provocative and insightful film. It’ll wake you up and ultimately shake you up to the realities of this world.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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