Symbiotic Earth

Symbiotic Earth 

How Lynn Margulis rocked the boat and started a scientific revolution

A film in ten essays and an epilogue by John Feldman

Symbiotic Earth 4X6

Symbiotic Earth explores the life and ideas of Lynn Margulis, a brilliant and radical scientist, whose unconventional theories challenged the male-dominated scientific community and are today fundamentally changing how we look at our selves, evolution, and the environment.

As a young scientist in the 1960s, Margulis was ridiculed when she first proposed that symbiosis was a key driver of evolution, but she persisted. Instead of the mechanistic view that life evolved through random genetic mutations and relentless competition, she presented a symbiotic narrative in which bacteria joined with one another to create animals, plants and all other organisms which together form a multi-dimensional living entity that covers the Earth. Humans are not the pinnacle of life with the right to exploit nature, but part of this complex cognitive system in which each of our actions has repercussions.

Filmmaker John Feldman traveled globally to meet Margulis’ cutting-edge colleagues and continually asked: What happens when the truth changes? Symbiotic Earth examines the worldview that has led to climate change and extreme capitalism and offers a new approach to understanding life that encourages a sustainable and symbiotic lifestyle.

Symbiotic Earth runs for 2 hours and 25 minutes.  It is divided into 10 essays and an epilogue.


1.  How Lynn Margulis Coerced Me Into Making This Film
2.  How Science Gave Us Permission To Exploit the Earth (aka: From Reductionism to Systems Thinking)
3.  Confronting the Neo-Darwinian Capitalist Zeitgeist (aka: How Science Gave Us Permission To Exploit Each Other)
4.  Lynn Margulis’ Lifelong Quest
5.  Working Together (aka: How Did She Do It All?)
6.  Bacteria Run The Planet
7.  Symbiosis Is The Way Of Life
8.  The Cell (Not DNA) Controls the Organism
9.  Evolution Through Mergers
10. Gaia is a Physiological System On the Surface of the Earth
Epilogue: Embracing How Little We Know

Lynn Margulis and wisteria

Lynn Margulis and wisteria


John Feldman

John Feldman

John Feldman is a critically acclaimed and highly original award-winning filmmaker. He has a BA in Biology from the University of Chicago and is an avid naturalist. He met Lynn Margulis when he was making his documentary: EVO: Ten Questions Everyone Should Ask about Evolution (2011, CINE Golden Eagle Award). His independent dramatic feature films include the pioneering digital video production Who the Hell is Bobby Roos? (2002, New American Cinema Award, Seattle International Film Festival), Dead Funny (1995, starring Elizabeth Pena and Andrew McCarthy), and Alligator Eyes (1990, First Prize Audience Jury San Sebastian Int. Film Festival). His early short films earned many festival awards.  CONTACT:


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