Film Review: 2012: Time For Change

Following the San Francisco Green Festival on Sunday, We found our way to the Lumiere Theater in the heart of San Fran for the Premier of the film “2012: Time for Change” ( As the crowd shuffled in I found the excitement about the film palpable (at least from my perspective) as this was the first film that had not just big names on the bill like Sting, David Lynch (the film director),  and Barbara Marx Hubbard, but also very pivotal names in the Permaculture scene like Penny Livingston Stark (one of the early Permaculturalists still carrying the message forward in Cali), Paul Stamets (Planetary/ecological Mushroom Guru), Buckminster Fuller (of course archival footage) and the young Oscar Nominated Actress and recently Certified Permaculturalist, Ellen Page (star of the film “Juno”). This, I found very intriguing to say the least…. the synergy begins.

The Film follows Daniel Pinchbeck, the Author of the very popular book”2012: The Return of Quetzacoatl” that explores the potential happenings of 2012 through his journey of awakening. It follows him through psychedelic journeys that led him to awaken to the answers regarding the planets perils and the shift that is happening right now among us leading into and well after 2012. He makes the case for psychedelic awakening for the first portion of the film and then gets into the nitty gritty solutions like Permaculture, Design, Mycellium for healing toxins, and Hydrogen fuel break throughs just to name a few. Primarily it is learning to design with the planet in mind.

His Case for psychedelics is supported by many first hand testimonies from Sting, Tribal Elders & Shamans, Terrence McKenna and several others who have learned to use these sacred plants in Ceremonial settings for millenia. From Archival Footage Terence MeKenna makes the case that Psychedelics may be our only hope for the Human Species to wake up to its potential Blind Sided Ego Centric Demise. This could teach us to “sacrifice the Ego” for future generations of all forms life as psychedelics and their medicinal capability to cure that malady of seperateness can do.

Fortunately Daniel Begins to also delve into other spiritualities that are beginning to influence our Consciousness like Yoga and other Eastern Traditions to help us awaken to that oneness that exists all around us. He interviews the Film Director, David Lynch, about Transcendental Meditation, which leads into archival clips of the founder of TM, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Hosting Buckie Fuller in front of an Audience, talking about how conscious this western man is, because of his focus on making people’s lives better, Or as Maharishis says “Making people’s live’s…Fuller!” as the crowd breaks into laughter at his Pun.

This combined with a great interlude of surreal digital Cartoons (that permeate the film) lead us into the life of Buckminster Fuller, the mid 20th century evolutionarily oriented gentleman, who laid so many fabulous cases for for the logic of design to resolve the worlds problems. He uses design as the lynch pin to help us harmonize with the planet and ourselves. Buckie in fact laid many of the foundational natural Principles that would later go on to influence Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in their development of the Permaculture Principles.

It is this synergy that then leads us into the solutions that Permaculture and other concepts are bringing. As the description of the film indicates “Rather than breakdown and barberism, 2012 heralds the birth of a regenerative planetary culture where  collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of the psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.” This is the core of the film. That awakening to the synergy of man and nature using design, is the evolution that is occurring. This is the awakening that the planet is going through, one that diverts us from the potential disaster to one of a new birth of humanity on the planet.

It was this part that begins to get very inspirational (as it it wasn’t already yet….. but this is where the feet hit the ground). They had the long time Permaculturalist Penny Livingston Stark, the woman who coined the permaculture phrase ” We are Nature Working”  talk about this shift we are in the midst of as well as this returning we are a part of. They also had Ellen Page, (Starring actress and Oscar Nominee of the film “Juno” and recently Certified in Permaculturalist) talk about her journey into permaculture and finding solutions for the planet at this time. It was exceptionally motivating and exciting to see these concepts finally tapping into more “mainstream” media sources. Ultimately its inevitable if we are to survive on this planet .

The film winds out on very positive notes of solutions that are popping up all over the place in the face of this potential catastrophe. Solutions that utilize this harmonized way of thinking. Ways that will evolve us past this bottle neck in Planetary evolution, the return of the Human species to the planet to become what it has always been but has had slight amnesia…. a conscious co-creator.

After the film we had the great boon of a question and answer with Daniel,  Joao Amorim (the film maker), Paul Stamets (Mushroom Guru),  John Barlow (Lyricist for the Grateful Dead) and musicians Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation) and Alex Theory. This was very inspirational as well hearing their thoughts about the movie, their visions and hopes for the future and seeing how we can bring this change to the world.

Overall it was a very inspirational evening and synchronistic as well, given the strong focus on Permaculture, an idea that is long over due in our dis-harmonized world


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