Poverty is not simply an absence of material wealth. To mistake poverty for a small bank account or the lack of a diverse 401K portfolio is mental myopia. Rather, the impact of poverty is far-reaching and eventually the death of all things—most of all, the soul. According to a recent OxFam study, just eighty individuals on the planet now have as much wealth as 50% of the rest of our population combined. Of these, 90% are male, and 30% are American. And there’s evidence they’ve been running the show for a long, long time. Around the world, the gap between the rich and poor is spiraling out of control. Extreme inequality is neither accidental nor inevitable—it’s the result of deliberate policy choices by those in power. This ever-widening wealth inequality hinders growth and only promises to get worse.
One morning as the sunlight streamed over my back porch, I sat talking with my dear friend in New York, Perch Ducote, on the phone. Perch explained that he wanted to make a movie about world peace. He felt that it was the culmination of his life dedicated to ending suffering and that a movie was exactly what was needed to bring wide spread awareness to the possibility. As a result of this simple yet profound conversation, we began changing lives. Shortly after, Perch connected with Dan Karslake, director of “For the Bible Tells Me So,” one of USA Today’s top picks for movies that changed the world. Dan and Perch agreed that the topic of world hunger was the ideal subject of the film as it was one of the critical gates we had to pass through in order to solve for world peace.
And the documentary “Every Three Seconds” was to become a reality. Our passion was to expose the exponential ramifications of poverty and hunger, and explore human potential if this poverty were removed.
Understanding the correlations between poverty, hunger, war, and climate change are integral to the film. But the consistent and essential thread woven through all these elements—the one that reveals itself is a complete feeling of isolation and sense that one cannot be effective. This cynicism is what stops action and thwarts productive problem-solving. Yet, those who make an impact are not “20 feet tall”—they are ordinary people who demonstrate the shared need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Make no mistake—hunger is a winnable war. We’ve cut the proportion of hunger by half since 1969, and smaller numbers and smaller percentages of people are dying of hunger, despite our growing global population.
“Every Three Seconds” also explores the elements that capture the human heart and translate to giving to a cause. If we truly are moving from an age of scarcity to an age of abundance, savvy marketing should not be needed to generate charity. Whether direct or indirect, people are searching for ways to integrate purpose in their lives. The film demonstrates that people are ready to give and participate in the “relentless positive storm.” If one person can change the world, we must ask: is this a question of awareness, mindset, or both?
Be sure to watch “Every Three Seconds” on Netflix and answer this question for yourself—participate in this vital revolution today.
A note of thanks: We are indelibly grateful to the many talented individuals and artists who collaborated on and supported this project, including Perch Ducote and Dan Karslake, as well as Katie Perry—who provided an acoustic version of “Fireworks”—and Téa Leoni. Thank you all for your unending support and vision.