I Am and The Butterfly Effect

The film I Am focuses on two main questions: “What is wrong with the world?” and “What can we do to make it better?” Tom Shadyac gives an interesting perspective to answer these questions as he sets out to make a film and interview several people including Desmond Tutu and Howard Zinn, two of the authors of essays we read during class. Tom Shadyac brings up an important idea, that money does not necessarily result in happiness. He gives the example of when, after he began to make money through his films, his house and all the stuff he was able to buy did not make him truly happy. I think that this is a really interesting opinion. It is common for people to think that more money makes a person happy, when in reality it doesn’t. Happiness comes when a person feels truly content in their life and that doesn’t matter if they have a lot of money or not. Tom Shadyac began to realize all of this and several other things after he experienced a horrible accident. After recovering, his viewpoint on the world began to change.


The Butterfly Effect is the idea that a small act in one place can result in a huge change somewhere else. I feel like this can relate to the film I Am in several ways. As Tom Shadyac continued to interview people, he began to realize that even though there may be things wrong with the world, there are also a lot of good things that we can focus on. While reading about the Butterfly Effect, I began to make a connection between it and a reading we did earlier in the semester by Howard Zinn, one of the people interviewed in I Am. He mentions the idea that the only people getting recognition for their acts are people with a lot of power and that courageous people who are truly trying to make a difference are not getting the recognition they deserve. These courageous people who do small acts of kindness to make a change don’t know that their actions can have huge impacts whether they realize it or not.

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