The Fifth Sacred Thing

“The Fifth Sacred Thing,” by author and visionary Starhawk, is an excellent example of using the power of story to portray and inspire hope and a better future for humanity.   Starhawk and her team are now working to create a motion picture from the novel.  

The Fifth Sacred Thing cover art by Keith Batcheller

They say that movies are collective dreams.  If so, we’re heading for a nightmare—for there are very few films that show a positive future on earth.  We want to change that.  How can we create a thriving, just and balanced future if we can’t even imagine it?  We want to bring alive a vision that can inspire people—and we’ve found the story in Starhawk’s novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing.

In the story, set in 2048, Northern California has survived eco-catastrophes, wars and epidemics and forged a society based on respect for the Four Sacred Things that support life: air, fire, water and earth.  Streets are turned into gardens, streams flow free, people of all races and religions live in harmony – until the militarist Southlands attack.  How can the people of a peaceful society fight against ruthless invaders without becoming what they’re fighting against?  Musician-turned-guerilla Bird, his story-teller grandmother Maya, and Madrone, the healer, must wield a force more powerful than weapons—the fifth sacred thing

In the eighteen years since its publication, hundreds of thousands of people have read The Fifth Sacred Thing and been moved by its imagery and drama. Now, at this time when our future seems so precarious, we want to bring it to the screen and to a whole new generation who are more visual than verbal.

Making a movie of a book that so many people love is a scary venture.

We feel a huge responsibility — first to be faithful to the book’s artistic vision, to make a film that moves people emotionally, that’s dramatic and funny and edge-of-the-seat powerful. But also, we want to be faithful to the values of earth-care and social justice the book represents. Not just in what the movie portrays, but also in the way we go about making it.

We’ve written a Green Plan that will set new standards for environmental accountability in the film industry. We’ll bring resources into the inner city by networking with community organizations with whom we have longstanding relationships. We’ll expand our website with extensive resources and develop many ways that people who are inspired by the vision can learn the skills they need to create it and connect with others who share it. We want the movie to help nurture and support the movements that are already growing to put our world on a path of peace, justice and ecological harmony.

This video gives an overview of our project and the immensely inspiring collaborations that are emerging to support its development. We are only at the beginning stages now of realizing our vision; yet the community support already demonstrated has been overwhelmingly abundant and positive. If you are inspired to support our cause, please consider a donation to our Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

Read more about it at the website:


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