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Australian filmmaker Peter Charles Downey take us on a personal and cathartic journey of empowerment, redemption, and powerfully healing documentary cinema. Hurt people, hurt people it’s a pattern, and hurt people will hurt the earth.  But just as the pain of an artist an lead to brilliant creativity, so too can the pain of the world lead us to esteem.


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From Peter Charles 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.
It is a profound documentary that explores the fundamental reason behind the environmental crisis. It suggests that our destruction of the earth is a mirror of humanity’s psychological and emotional state, and shows how we can heal this wound with vulnerability, compassion, love and mindfulness.
The film features the thoughts and reflections of sustainability and psychology experts Subhana Barzaghi, John Seed, Prof. Stuart Hill, Carol Perry, Aladdin Jones, Elizabetta Faenza and Lenita Vangellis.

Peter Charles Downey
55 Mins

Additional information

Weight .32 lbs
Dimensions 6 × .5 × 9 in
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  1. Suzanne Harle

    Esteem | Peter Charles Downey
    Transitions Film Festival, Australia 2017
    Review by Georgina Haines

    Human destruction of the natural environment is a theme more often analysed from macro levels of politics, policy and industrialisation. Esteem offers a fresh and thought-provoking exploration of the theme from a starkly different angle, suggesting that the devastation of our physical environment mirrors humanity’s spiritual deterioration and decline. This bold and insightful exploration into the manifestation of the human psyche parallels the director Charles Peter Downey’s own story of personal growth and enlightenment from a childhood defined by tragedy and fear.

    Through a series of interviews with Downey, experts from a diverse range of disciplines converge on a common message – that if as individuals we cannot learn to embrace vulnerability and be at peace with life’s inevitable impermanence, we as a society will forever be at war with Mother Nature, and ultimately ourselves.

    Esteem exposes man’s endless consumerism as a desperate attempt to fill the isolation so symptomatic of modern society, and his destruction of the world around him as the fear-fuelled desperation to control and conquer that which makes him feel so small. Downey concludes that it is our low self-esteem that is at the heart of our ruthless abuse of the environment.

    Understated in style and execution, Esteem challenges its viewers to acknowledge that the society we live in is often an institutionalised perpetuation of disconnectedness from our true selves; a legacy of avoidance and denial stemming from a deep-seated fear of all that makes us human.

    At the documentary’s close Downey shares how he finally broke free from ingrained patterns of self-destruction, learned to look deeper within, and eventually to acknowledge the paradoxical strength of vulnerability. With this, viewers are left with the salient message that if, as individuals and as a society, we can engage in introspection and self-compassion, that if we can lovingly rebuild our innate relationship with the skies, seas and land that so give and sustain life, it is then that we may truly and finally inherit the Earth.

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