What’s Human – a documentary

IKIGAI, inspired by the Japanese philosophy that seeks to answer the question, “What is worth living/dying for,” encapsulates the exploration of fundamental human values that give life its intrinsic meaning. Sometimes, we find that we value certain aspects of life even more than life itself. Our documentary film, “What’s Human,” reflects this introspection, exploring the human values we hold dear and our daily decision to choose life over death.

In “What’s Human – a documentary” conceived as a multi-year film project spanning over 4-5 years (and seven decades after the demise of the philosopher who championed the freedom to choose between savoring a cup of coffee or taking one’s life), I delve into the uniqueness of the human condition. The film doesn’t merely question “what external motivators inspire you to start your day,” but digs deeper into the essence of what makes us truly human. What facets of our existence do we consider vital to our humanity, and why? What behaviors and emotions separate us from animals or machines? It’s an exploration of human anthropology, a quest to unravel the shared understanding of the human soul.

For the initial part of this ambitious endeavor, I have journeyed through Central America, engaging with people from various walks of life across seven countries, including Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. These interactions, brimming with diverse perspectives on “What makes us human,” are currently in post-production. This represents the first chapter in a globally inclusive narrative, with subsequent journeys planned across North and South America, Africa, the Greater Middle East, and Asia in the coming years. With my growing film crew, I aim to create a documentary tapestry rich with global viewpoints, challenging our understanding of humanity and inspiring a collective dialogue.