Mackinaw Mail

From Trees to Extraterrestrials: a Journey Into the Lives of Dedicated World-Changers

A Life’s Work


Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2021
Runtime: 1h 30m
Director(s): David Licata
Where To Watch: Available streaming & DVD

RAVING REVIEW: Prepare for an inspiring journey with A LIFE’S WORK. This captivating documentary chronicles the lives of some remarkable individuals who have devoted their lives to making the world a better place. Director David Licata takes the audience on an adventure over 15 years, showcasing his subjects' passion and determination.

The film follows Jill Tarter, the Director of the SETI Institute, who has been tirelessly searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence for decades. Robert Darden, an archivist, founded the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project to preserve endangered recordings from the black gospel music tradition. David and Jared Milarch, father and son tree farmers, clone ancient trees to combat climate change. Finally, Paolo Soleri (and Jeff Stein, his successor), the architect behind Arcosanti, a town designed to test his theories about housing an overpopulated planet.

A LIFE’S WORK captures the essence of these dedicated individuals. The documentary explores what inspires and motivates them to pursue their dreams and make a difference. The film poses thought-provoking questions, such as how they measure success and the challenges they have faced.

However, the documentary has some areas for improvement that prevent it from reaching its full potential. The film covers four different types of projects without connecting them well. It would have worked better if it had been broken into various segments. Instead, we jump around quite a bit, keeping you from getting immersed in one specific project. The film also has a slight bias that could be taken wrong, but it seems unintentional.

Despite its flaws, A LIFE’S WORK is a must-see for anyone interested in the passion and dedication required to impact the world positively. The documentary captures these extraordinary individuals' hard work, inspiration, and motivation, offering viewers a glimpse into their lives and their vision for a better world. David Licata does an excellent job of showcasing the dedication and passion of his subjects.

In conclusion, A LIFE’S WORK is a gem that portrays the dedication of individuals determined to leave the world a better place. While the documentary has some weaknesses, it remains an educational and inspiring film that will give viewers hope and optimism. This documentary is a fantastic example of the power of cinema to inspire change and make a difference.

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[photo courtesy of FIRST RUN FEATURES]