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By Derek Schlennstedt

From Warburton’s Peter Downey, the director of Surviving Earth and Animal Mundi, comes Esteem, a documentary about the relationship between our inner psyche and the state of the environment.
The profound documentary, which was hailed as a powerful healing cinema when it featured at the Sustainable Living Centre in Melbourne, will play at the Selby Community House on August 23.
The documentary explores the fundamental reason behind the environmental crisis and furthermore suggests that our destruction of the Earth is a reflection of our psychological and emotional state, and suggests that we can heal this wound.
Downey said it was a regular occurrence at the screening to see various audience members in tears, and described the documentary as eye-opening and raw.
“It’s a vulnerable film and is a bit about how we treat nature,” he said.
“The feedback I get is that it helps other people to express their vulnerability.”
Cathartic, vulnerable and intimate, Esteem explores eco-psychology, deep ecology and social ecology with Professor Stuart Hill, John Seed, Subhana Barzaghi and Yarra Valley’s Aladdin Jones among others.
As part of the documentay Peter looks behind the reckless human treatment of our Earth to draw out the underlying causes and, comes to the cold hard conclusion that, “Hurt people, will hurt people, and hurt people will hurt the Earth”.
While Peter’s message might be tough to digest, the documentary does present hope and optimism surrounding the future.
“Our wounding of the Earth is a mirror of humanity’s psychological and emotional wounds, but we can heal this with vulnerability, compassion, love and mindfulness,” he said.
Screening organizer, Karl Williams, said all of Peter’s works were exceptionally vivid and real and that Esteem was no exception.
“His work is that powerful that no-one can walk out of his documentaries the same person. And there’s never been a more urgent time to heal the Earth.”
The screening will take place at Selby Community House at 7pm on 23 August and Peter will be present at the screening for a Q&A.
A gold coin donation is all that needed to cover the cost of a light supper and for any inquiries contact 9754 2039.

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