Reviews

Here in the City of Edmonton, we have a civic department called “The Neighbourhoods Services”, staff work hard to stand with neighbourhood leaders as they focus on building their local communities. This documentary is a tool that leaps that work forward. Municipalities, NGO’s, neighbourhood leadership all stand to advance the neighbouring movement through the showing of this compelling work.

-Howard Lawrence
Abundant Community Coordinator City of Edmonton

“This film describes one of the most pressing issue of our time – loneliness and the erosion of our social fabric. It was inspiring to see how powerful just one woman and a simple invitation could be to bringing people together again in a city like Vancouver. It inspired me to throw a block party in my own neighbourhood!”

-Natasha Pei
Community Animator at Tamarack Institute

“As an economist specializing in the measurement of well-being and happiness and author of The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth (2007) and An Economy of Well-being (2018), I feel The Great Disconnect presents a compelling new narrative for building resilient communities and economies of well-being particularly in ‘building back better’ in a post-Covid pandemic economic recovery. The science of well-being reveals that relationships, trust and a sense belonging to a neighbourhood is undeniably the most important asset that defines quality of life across Canada. We need more stories like The Great Disconnect presents that amplifies the statistical well-being indicators, both objective and subjective or perceptional. I believe that perceived and lived well-being are important factors to guide the development of an economy of well-being for Canada. This important documentary film makes a compelling case for well-being, neighbouring, and creating more conditions for building enduring relationships are critical to Canada.”

-Mark Anielski
Economist and Author of the Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth

This movie was a game changer in my life. I knew community was important, and that we’re so cut off in our lives from our communities, but what I didn’t realize is how much I was part of that disconnect! This movie has changed how I interact with strangers, acquaintances, and people I know very well.

Definitely a must-see!!

-Sarah Griffin
Montessori School Teacher

As Chair of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards I am very much interested in individuals’ and societies’ well-being. Those who study well-being have come to realize they need to broaden their perspective beyond standard measures such as employment and income. Social connections feature prominently in self-assessments of happiness or well-being. Solid social and family connections are common factors for individuals and societies who age well, physically and mentally. The Great Disconnect provides a masterful distillation of these theoretical links to well-being. But the documentary provides its greatest service in demonstrating at the personal level how connections support well-being and isolation leads to mental and physical impairment. The documentary is informative and entertaining while driving home a powerful lesson in this era of the great disconnect. Hang up and connect!

-Don Drummond
Former Chief Economist and SVP, TD Bank Former Associate Deputy Minister, Finance Canada Stauffer-Dunning Fellow, Queen's University

Engaging, timely, and compelling commentary on the state of our human connection. Watch it — let it reorient how you interact with the people, places and things around you. Small actions have HUGE impacts.

-Evan Paul Spencer
Constituent Assistant at City of Calgary

“Really inspiring documentary-whilst many of us see daily the social consequences of social isolation and technology, to consider the mental, physical (etc.) detrimental impacts in a holistic manner is really thought provoking. This documentary should be made compulsory in the school curriculum! awesome work”

-Danielle Coleman

“This documentary presents a realistic and thought- provoking analysis of our increasingly disconnected world by using data, personal interviews, and professional commentary. The documentary is able to show a need for social change without pointing the finger at any particular culprit. So many of us – whether we be financially successful or living off the land in Jamaica, whether we are religious or non-religious, political or non-political – should be able to make a “connection” to this documentary because we can see ourselves in this disconnected world, one that often leaves an individual profoundly lonely. This film shows how individualism is so often at odds with community; however, it offers hope by assessing how we can reconstruct our physical and personal environment so that community is available for all”

-Solveig Preus Fiene

This documentary is a comprehensive look at all the societal trends that are contributing to our modern sense of loneliness and disconnection. As someone who has tried to make new friends and find a community in a big city, I see these issues all around me. I hope we can all heed the messages in this film and put more time and energy into our social connections—which are crucial to our happiness and well-being and the flourishing of our societies.

-Kira Newman
Editor and writer at Greater Good Science Centre

This film assisted us in creating a space that enabled our audience to reflect on the human need for belonging and highlighted that meaningful relationships with others is what drives our sense of belonging. This in turn helped youth delegates and adults in our audience to connect in a meaningful way, and to recognize the gaps that exist in our society, so that together we can continue to address the barriers of isolation for all people living in our communities. The message of this film is timely and relevant to audiences of all ages.

-Emily Branje
Community Living Ontario

What an engaging and empowering film. The Great Disconnect thoughtfully explores the modern paradox of being ever more connected, virtually, while genuine and meaningful friendships, conversations, moments can be hard to find and hold onto. The film is heartfelt and inspiring, and I hope to bring its messages into positive changes in my own life. In fact I started today, with just a little extra effort to attend a social gathering with work colleagues. I already feel a stronger sense of community and belonging from this small step.

-Shawn Marshall
Departmental Science Advisor at Environment and Climate Change Canada

“The Great Disconnect focuses our attention on what matters the most – our connections with each other. This film asks the right questions and draws interesting links through a compelling story arc. As our cities and communities continue to grow and change, deliberately making places that feel like home – that feed our spirits in addition to nourishing our bodies – is a critical health and wellness issue for individuals and collectivities alike. Building great places is fundamentally about planning for people, and this includes supporting diverse needs for ongoing connection. Don’t miss The Great Disconnect.”



-Kalen Anderson
Director, City Plan, Office Of The Chief Planner, City of Edmonton Director, Urban Analysis Section City Planning, City of Edmonton

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