The Lottery of Birth

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Synopsis

From birth onwards our minds are a battleground of competing forces. The outcome of this battle determines the society we create. ‘The Lottery of Birth’ looks at the cultural, educational and commercial forces that shape our identities, often in ways that limit both our personal and political freedom.

Offering a torrent of mind-expanding ideas, ‘The Lottery of Birth’ is going to make you think again about what it means to be free. With a stellar cast bringing together leading activists, journalists, and the best minds in psychology, history and philosophy, it explores a simple idea: the more we understand the limits on our freedom, the better placed we are to transcend them.

From birth onwards our minds are a battleground of competing forces. The outcome of this battle determines the society we create. ‘The Lottery of Birth’ looks at the cultural, educational and commercial forces that shape our identities, often in ways that limit both our personal and political freedom.

The first film in the series is dedicated to Howard Zinn (1922 – 2010).

The Lottery of Birth - Theatrical Trailer 2013 from Creating Freedom on Vimeo.

Made on less than $30,000, and with next to no marketing, The Lottery of Birth is a truly "no-budget" indy, and yet it recently hit #3 on the iTunes documentaries chart. After a successful online campaign with its trailer, it already boasts 16,000 FB fans.

It has been described as "Unmissable" by Alan Rickman, "Activist cinema for the age of TED talks" by The New York Times, and oscar winner Colin Firth claimed he was "blown away" by the film.

With an impressive cast of leading activists and intellectuals, including Howard Zinn, Steven Pinker, Vandana Shiva and Daniel Dennett, the film offers a torrent of provocative ideas that are both sobering and challenging, yet ultimately inspirational.

Raoul Martinez, writer and co-director of the film, funded the project with his earnings as a portrait artist (he currently has a portrait of Noam Chomsky in London's National Portrait Gallery). Co-director and Occupy activist Joshua van Praag called in many a favour to help guide the project to completion on the smallest of budgets. The film was picked up by Raindance Film Festival and nominated for Best Documentary. Raindance founder Elliot Grove called it "one of the most important films we have ever screened at Raindance." Soon after it would win the Artivist Spirit Award in LA.

The Lottery of Birth is only the first installment in a series of three films entitled Creating Freedom. Later episodes include Noam Chomsky, Bill Mckibben, Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, and many more. This looks like an ambitious and exciting project that is only going to grow, and 2014 will see the global release of the Creating Freedom book written by Raoul Martinez. Watch this space!

Cast: Howard Zinn, Steven Pinker, Vandana Shiva, Daniel Dennett, Tony Benn, George Monbiot, Jeff Schmidt, Kathleen Taylor, Nick Davies, Michael Albert, Stanley, Aronowitz, Bill Fletcher Jr.
Directors:  Raoul Martinez, Joshua van Praag
Producers: Raoul Martinez, Joshua van Praag
Screenwriter: Raoul Martinez
Music: Peter Raeburn

The DVD, as well as downloads and streams of the film can be bought here:

Downloads and streams can also be bought on iTunes and Amazon:
 

In this TedTalk Raoul Martinez examines the radical implications this has for our personal and political freedom. He challenges the way we think about responsibility, blame, punishment, and, ultimately identity, compelling us to question the forces—religious, cultural, economic and political—that have shaped us.

Tags: culture, freedom, philosophy, raoul martinez, society, the lottery of birth

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