Harmony, A New Way of Looking at Our World. A film and book by Prince Charles, Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly


in Landscape, News

Si Jakeman shares with us his thoughts on the new film and book, Harmony, by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, leading environmentalist Tony Juniper and broadcaster Ian Skelly.

When a future King calls for a Revolution. It’s worth sitting up and listening, what ever side of the fence you sit.

HRH the Prince of Wales’ film Harmony is a call to action, more of a thinking revolution which will lead you to a more sustainable way of living.

I was lucky enough to get to see the Royal, World Theatrical Premiere of this film at the O2 at Greenwich, formerly the Millennium Dome. It was part of Robert Redford’s Sundance film festival. The Prince introduced the film, and even jokingly said “I hope you don’t fall asleep.” A cynical jibe at himself I suppose, after going on about environmental issues for over 30 years. Even though the film is narrated by HRH, It’s not really about him. He takes you on a humbling journey across the world to listen to real people’s stories.

The main theme of the film is one of Interconnectedness.

Throughout the film many of the planet’s arising problems are highlighted. The Prince isn’t preaching at all, but just shows how if we all start thinking and acting differently in our outlook of the world, things may change, It seems that since the Industrial Revolution we have become so disconnected from Nature , that we now believe we are separate from it. But we are nature.


A Tag line from the film states “We have lost something very precious, that is an understanding of our Interconnectedness with nature and a world beyond material.”

As the journey of the film continues you meet visionary people, in which The Prince states have a vital role to play, in helping the world to find the strength needed to address its problems.

Unlike Al Gores’ ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, this film is of a more positive and optimistic nature. It includes farming, engineering, medicine, architecture and education all in a holistic way. It’s about restoring the balance between Man and Nature. Even nature herself may provide the answers to many of the problems we face. The film is based on the book Harmony which is co-written by Prince Charles, Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly, which delves into the idea of a deep connection, a golden thread that runs through everything, which is also a deep felt feeling. As I like to put it, it runs through everything; the trees, the Seas, the Bees and even galaxies. In essence a sacred geometry present throughout nature including us.

Harmony comes from the Greek term that describes the joining of things together. In a way the film and book do join the dots together. It puts hopes for a more sustainable, spiritual and harmonious relationship with the planet. Please believe me, when I say you can’t really read about how amazing this film is you truly need to sit back and watch it and let it change the way you think, as I know it will. It’s the kind of film you will remember where you were when you first watched it.

As the final powerful images of the film washed over the audience, the beautiful U2 song ‘Running to Stand Still‘ filled the theatre. For me it was a bit of a light bulb moment of how our current economic model of ever growing consumption is an addiction that is killing the life giving systems of the planet, and that we need to change before it’s too late. Cross Political action needs to emerge soon.

After the showing of the film there was a Q and A session with the film makers and authors of the book. I remember a journalist asking a question from the heart, saying “But how do we get people to listen to this message?” as she broke down in tears. Ian Skelly one of the authors of Harmony, with 30 years experience of producing for the BBC, answered by quoting a story he was told many moons ago. He said “It only takes one lit candle to fill a room with light.” It reminded me of the story of the 100th monkey. How one individual can change thinking by simply passing on that changed way of thinking to another. In essence this is what The Prince of Wales’ does with this film, he provides the candle.

I was honoured to meet Tony Juniper for a brief chat, about the film and book, and how if we all just realised that we are interconnected, it might just be the start of the long awaited change.

Please, please watch and read Harmony and pass the message on!


I hope this has lit the candle…



Read more SOW articles by Si Jakeman –

The Great Big Earth Dig

What does sustainability mean to me

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Roderick Leslie May 22, 2012 at 09:49

For me, the really fundamental message that comes from this book and film and from the whole forestry sales saga that led to SOW in the first place is the increasingly sharp divide between the simplistic, single product approach favoured by current economic and business thinking and the sophisticated balancing trick which is modern forest and woodland management. Its so much easier just to produce one thing – easier to measure, easier for shareholders, and its suits the present generation of politicians. Forestry went through it in the ‘economic era’ that made it so unpopular in the 60s and 70s. Only yesterday I was at a meeting where a campaigner said ‘but how can you make sure the wildlife is conserved and fell timber ?’ The simple answer is that’s the point the forester’s real skills switch in. Just managing for timber or wildlife is difficult, but not that difficult – its creating the mix that’s the real, and exciting, challenge. The key, as I’m sure Prince Charles and tony Juniper point out is that if you get it right you haven’t simply stacked a load of benefits on top of each other and come out with the same total as simple, single purpose management – the secret is that the whole is much, much greater than the sum of the parts – you can have 80% of the timber, 80% of the wildlife, 90% of the recreation and water, and air and, and – far, far more than just doing one thing – and thats the real secret, we can, through engaging our brains actually take far more for people from our environment whilst actually taking less and doing less damage at the same time – like magic really, and its going to take that sort of magic to take on the challenges of a changing world.

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