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By Merle Bertrand | March 18, 2002

In olden times, before the internet, television, or even the radio, music provided the entertainment for great communal gatherings. Tribes huddled around the campfire to chant songs to ensure a good hunt, for example, or sang Christmas Carols during the Holidays. Oftentimes these songs provided the message as well, such as when a flock of churchgoers belted out their hymns on a Sunday morning.
It’s impossible — indeed, it’s unwise — to ignore technology in today’s wired world. Yet, as our real world connections seem to grow ever more tenuous even as our far flung cyberpals proliferate, it’s encouraging to note that music and art of all kinds can still bind the human species together. That seems to be the underlying theme driving Jamie Cotto and Duncan Bridgeman’s powerful and provocative, yet simultaneously soothing film “1 Giant Leap.”
Cotto and Bridgeman traveled the globe, chronicling how mankind interacts with the world through art, music and creativity in general. With extensive, visually dynamic music video segments that play like extended Nike commercials, “1 Giant Leap” is as pleasing to the eyes as the ears. Add to this mix an eclectic assortment of artists from all fields — Michæl Stipe, Kurt Vonnegut, Dennis Hopper, Neneh Cherry, Ram Dass, etc., etc., etc. — waxing philosophically leftist about subjects such as globalization, religion, the environment, sex, politics, and so forth, and you’ve got a feast that’s just as sumptuous to the mind.
Gather round the modern world’s campfire; the movie screen, television set, or laptop DVD player, and let this film’s message wash over you in these troubled times. For “1 Giant Leap” is nothing short of an electronic drum circle, drawing the citizens of Earth together for a planetwide cautionary pep talk. Mesmerizing and utterly profound, yet wonderfully accessible, “1 Giant Leap” reminds us all of what we’re capable of achieving.

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