"Mother is a groundbreaking and award-winning film that reveals the compelling challenges we face in a world of 7 billion. It tells the story of Beth, an American mother and child's right activist, and her journey to make sense of how and why the empowerment of women and girls around the world is so intricately linked to our fate on this fragile planet. Mother features world-renowned experts to help explain one of the most persistent controversies in our culture that touches gender equity, religion, reproductive health and the environment. It is a film of hope and shows the strength of the human spirit to make a better world.

Mother, the film, breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that silently fuels our most pressing environmental, humanitarian and social crises - population growth. In 2011 the world population reached 7 billion, a startling seven-fold increase since the first billion occurred 200 years ago.

Population was once at the top of the international agenda, dominating the first Earth Day and the subject of best-selling books like “The Population Bomb”. Since the 1960s the world population has nearly doubled, adding more than 3 billion people. At the same time, talking about population has become politically incorrect because of the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the topic–religion, economics, family planning and gender inequality. Yet it is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.

Today, nearly 1 billion people still suffer from chronic hunger even though the Green Revolution that has fed billions will soon come to an end due to the diminishing availability of its main ingredients–oil and water. Compounded with our ravenous appetite for natural resources, population growth is putting an unprecedented burden on the life system we all depend on, as we refuse to face the fact that more people equals more problems.

The film illustrates both the over-consumption and the inequity side of the population issue by following Beth, a mother and a child-rights activist as she comes to discover, along with the audience, the thorny complexities of the population issue. Beth – who comes from a large American family of 12 and has adopted an African-born daughter–travels to Ethiopia where she meets Zinet, the oldest daughter of a desperately poor family of 12. Zinet has found the courage to break free from thousand-year-old-cultural barriers, and their encounter will change Beth forever.

Grounded in the theories of social scientist Riane Eisler, the film strives not to blame but to educate, to highlight a different path for humanity. Overpopulation is merely a symptom of an even larger problem - a "domination system" that for most of human history has glorified the domination of man over nature, man over child and man over woman. To break this pattern, the film demonstrates that we must change our conquering mindset into a nurturing one. And the first step is to raise the status of women worldwide.

"Mother: Caring for 7 Billion" features world-renown experts and scientists including biologist Paul Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb;" economist Mathis Wackernagel, the creator of the ground-breaking Footprint Network; Malcolm Potts, a pioneer in human reproductive health; and Riane Eisler, whose book “The Chalice and the Blade” has been published in 23 countries."

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Thank you for this link to "Mother: Caring for 7 Billion" I am so relieved that it is addressing the issue of world poverty on a systemic level, that of population control. We are supposed to be a species with the ability to make rational decisions. The use of fear, through superstition and religion, to keep people acting out of their animal instincts must come to an end. I have new hope for the future because of world-wide information available through the internet and organized by such sites as WorldPulse.

I do have one question about this part of your entry: "Overpopulation is merely a symptom of an even larger problem - a "domination system" that for most of human history has glorified the domination of man over nature, man over child and man over woman."

I don't think it is accurate to say "for most of human history." There have been many civilizations recorded history before the Judeo-Christian era. Even Genesis has two versions, one in which woman and man were created individually, and one in which Eve came from Adam's rib.


Hi Y,

Thank you for watching and for your comment. The quote you questioned is an argument advanced by Riane Eisler, author of the Chalice and the Blade. She does make note of these "outside of the domination system" examples as her main argument for a change. I will recommend you look her up if you are not familiar with her work. Here is her website: She was also featured in the film! Thank you,

Delphine Criscenzo

Thank you again, Delphine, for all you do to open and encourage global conversation.

will do so, and I would invite you to look farther back in human history for the origins of hierarchical domination, be it by males or females.

I met women of many cultures, colors and spiritual paths at the recent Women of Spirit and Faith Alchemy Event. More than a few were from historically cooperative cultures. Others were from cultures that had a strong ancestral link to goddesses and the power of women. I spent a fair amount of time conversing with a professor of feminine history. I wil ask for suggestions from her, if you are interested in pursuing this conversation.

Blessings beaucoup to you. Yvette


Hi Y,

This is exactly what The Chalice and the Blade is doing, looking back at human history. "The Chalice and the Blade tells a new story of our cultural origins. It shows that war and the "war of the sexes" are neither divinely nor biologically ordained. And it provides verification that a better future is possible--and is in fact firmly rooted in the haunting drama of what actually happened in our past." It is a pretty game changing book and part of many women studies curriculum. Maybe the professor you mention has heard of it! Cheers,

Delphine Criscenzo

I will read the book; meanwhile, I took issue only with the seeming assertion that what is wrong with our society is patriarchy instead of hierarchy as opposed to cooperation and consensus. Did I misinterpret that?

Not trying to be contrary, am simply overly inquisitive.

Love, Y


No, I agree with you! A domination system according to Riane Eisler should be replaced by a Partnership system which emphasis cooperation and consensus. I would love to hear what you think of the book. Love,

Delphine Criscenzo