It was during a gap-year in Borneo that I first experienced a tropical forest – a place of immense beauty - a rich and vibrant expression of life, creativity and intelligence. It seemed like a million miles from home yet somehow incredibly familiar. But I also witnessed the heart-breaking effects of our ignorance and short-sightedness - huge swathes of forest cleared, endless lines of oil palm plantation in its place. My passion for the environment and those striving to protect it was ignited.
By the way, go to any local supermarket and guess what you’ll find as an ingredient in many products – even a bag of oven chips…palm oil! We are isolated and disconnected from the real world, unaware of the consequences of our actions and locked into unsustainable patterns of consumption.
The environmental crisis we face is really a crisis of consciousness. The ills of the world are not caused by the few doing maximum wrong, but by the majority doing minimum right. Sister Dorothy was yet another peaceful warrior fighting for something just, real and greater than herself - an incredible example of what one person can do; what we all can do. Just imagine if we were all to step up, choose a higher vision for ourselves and our fragile world, and act in accordance with it…with purpose!! We have been hypnotised by society to think we are less than we are, to think that consuming brings happiness, that success means money, and we have forgotten what truly sustains us. The world needs each and every one of us to be leaders - to take responsibility, and to make better choices.
For an account of my journey
to meet, and experiences with, Sister Dorothy click here.
Producer/Director - James Newton
Filming The Student, the Nun and the Amazon was a real challenge. Not just because of the constant danger from armed loggers, but due to the intense humidity.
I’d heard about the problems of illegal logging, but it wasn’t until I went to the Amazon that I become aware of just how series a problem it is.
Meeting Dorothy Stang was very inspirational. Empowered by her faith, the passion for her cause shone out. As we filmed her helping the local communities and landless poor form sustainable ways of managing the land, it became clear just how much this world is robbing from the environment.
I was shocked to hear of Dorothy’s death, but understand that her message will now travel further - and some may even respond to it.
The world needs to wake up, people need to take responsibility and, as Dorothy says in our film, we must stop asking ourselves what we want, but look more closely at what it is we really need.
If you haven’t seen our film and wonder what all of
the fuss is about - take a journey with Sam to the Amazon rainforest, and
meet Sister Dorothy Stang.