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During the pandemic the Meaning Movies will be online only. For the latest updates and information on what's coming up next check out Facebook!
Movies that inform, movies that inspire
Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies


March 24th

6:00 pm Film showing
7:00 pm Community Discussion, both via Zoom

In 2007, Ole and Maitri Ersson bought the rundown Cabana apartment complex in the city and immediately began to de-pave parking spaces to make space for what today is a huge permaculture coliving space and urban food forest. Today, the Kailash Ecovillage has 55 residents who all help farm where there was once pavement, grass, a swimming pool, and an overgrown weed patch.

The community is well-prepared for systems collapse; they have extensive rainwater collection and storage, plenty of produce and they process their own sewage. Their permitted sanitation project complies with international building codes for compost toilet and urine diversion systems and turns their pee and poop into nitrogen and compost.


Here, nearly everything is shared. There are two community electric cars – donated by the Erssons who no longer have a private car-, shared bicycles (and bike trailers), an extensive fruit orchard, berry and grape patches, and a considerable community garden space. Photovoltaics provide about two-thirds of the energy consumed by the complex.


Neil Robinson is the community’s full-time farmer who has sold thousands of dollars of Kailash produce at farmers’ markets. He moved in as a way to prepare for systemic collapse.


“I wanted to learn to grow food and then have a system that could step in. We have water, we have food.” Ole explains, “We’re in this zone where it’s not a question of if, but when, we’re going to get a Richter 9 earthquake… that’s going to break all kinds of grids, the power grid is likely going to go down, the sewer grid almost undoubtedly and it’s probably going to take months, if not years, to get the sewer system going again.”

Their sanitation project can absorb 60 adults for months. Rents here are lower than the Portland average because the Erssons want Kailash to be accessible to all income levels. There’s a 300-person waitlist, but Ole hopes others will follow their example.

“If you look at it from an economic perspective no business would want a complex landscape like this because it’s way too much maintenance, but what you have to do is turn the maintenance over to the residents, and then they do it: they get joy; it’s an antidepressant; it’s a way of creating food; it’s a way of creating community; so you have to do it in a certain way, but it’s definitely a lot more work than the typical grass and shrub landscape for sure.”


You can watch the film ahead of time or you can watch it together as a group starting at 6PM on March 24. Regardless, be sure to join the community conversation at 7PM. (We will use the same Zoom link for the film, panel discussion and community conversation.)

This event is co-sponsored by Temple B’nai Torah, the Mt Baker, West Seattle and Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies and Beacon Arts for a screening and discussion 

Up next


Beacon Arts program and  affiliate of Meaningful Movies.

Presented with special support from Jill and Joe McKinsrty

  and donations from the community. 

Your generosity is appreciated.

Archive follows - for your browsing convenience. . .


Saving Native Plants to Save Ourselves

January 27

7:00 pm Community Discussion on Zoom


Join Mt Baker, Kirkland, Beacon Hill and West Seattle Meaningful Movies, as well as Beacon Arts, for a community conversation on Zoom about the movies Insect Apocalypse and Why Lawns Must Die. Please watch these two short videos on your own, in advance of our event. Then on January 27th, join us for a community conversation about these films. We will also be joined by Erica Guttman of the Native Plant Salvage Foundation,  a non-profit organization that also supports the habitat & water programs of WSU Extension.  She will share tips on how to get rid of your grass, and suggestions for Waterwise plant options.  After her presentation, we will have a panel of local Northwest plant enthusiasts to answer questions.

And... Free Native Plant (and seed) Door Prizes - First Come First Dibs


INSECT APOCALYPSE tells of the alarming decline in insect populations that has been happening over the last 50 years.   It delves into what is causing it and how we can make a difference by planting native plants in our gardens.  The video features the renowned entomologist Doug Tallamy whose books include "Bringing Nature Home" and "Nature's Best Hope." 


WHY LAWNS MUST DIE takes a look at the grass lawn's history of class exploitation and settler colonialism and how that ties into the American lawn culture we see today. Also, the turfgrass lawn has a huge environmental impact. It's the biggest crop in the United States by area and requires a massive amount of fossil fuels, fertilizer, and chemicals to upkeep. Ultimately, the grass lawn is exacerbating climate change and the climate crisis. 

And... Here is a bonus video to watch on your own.

THE LITTLE THINGS THAT RUN THE WORLD shows us how to save native bees and other insects. Doug Tallamy tells us why, and how to do this in your own backyard, in a seminar presented by the City of Guelph and Pollination Guelph. 

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This event is co-sponsored by the Mt Baker, Kirkland, West Seattle and Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies Groups.


December 9th

Free Online Screening at 6pm  with panel discussion to follow at 7:45 pm on Zoom


The story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government, filing a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government. They assert it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

The Juliana plaintiffs represent the diversity of America’s youth impacted by the climate crisis. Hailing from across the country, they encompass cultural, economic racial, and geographic diversity, with many from marginalized communities, and their stories are universal. Their diversity speaks not only to the impacts of climate change, but to the inclusion required if we are to build a better, more just future together. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.

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This event is co-sponsored by the Mt Baker, West Seattle and Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies Groups.

The People Versus Agent Orange
July 7th

Free Online Screening at 6pm  with panel discussion to follow at 7:30 pm on Zoom

The Agent Orange catastrophe did not end with the Vietnam War. Today, a primary chemical of the toxic defoliant causes deformed births and deadly cancers. Two heroic women fight to hold the manufacturers accountable.


Join us for a screening and community conversation about "The People Vs. Agent Orange." We will be discussing the ongoing fight to try and hold the chemical industry accountable for the destruction caused by dioxins in Vietnam and in the U.S. The film is powerful, challenging, and thought-provoking. After a screening of the film on OVEE, we will move to Zoom for our community discussion with speakers from Peace Trees, Vietnam; and Veterans for Peace. Please join us! For more details on how to register visit the Facebook event page.

Generation Zapped

April 13th


Today we encounter a hundred thousand times the level of radiation from wireless technologies than we did decades ago. Yet the safety standards set by federal regulatory agencies are outdated. New wireless devices such as smart phones, tablets and baby monitors to the latest “Internet of Things” continue to enter the market without any proper pre-market testing or post-market monitoring. 

GENERATION ZAPPED investigates the potential dangers of prolonged exposure to Radio Frequencies (RF) from wireless technology; its effects on our health and well-being, as well as the health and development of our children. 


March 10th

For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools. Many children experienced devastating emotional and physical harm by adults who mistreated them and tried to erase their cultural identity.


Now, for the first time, they are being asked to share their stories.

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Power to Heal

February 11th

Power to Heal tells a poignant chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country in a matter of months. 


Ancestral Waters

December 10th, 2019

Ancestral Waters documents the fight of the Puyallup Tribe against the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant on their land, a fight that is happening now.  The construction of the plant without proper permits is in violation with the Medicine Creek Treaty of 1854.  This fight to protect their children and their way of life is a continuation of the tribe’s 164 years of active resistance against exploitation. Special guests filmmakers Benita and Darren Moore will be joining us.

The Devil we Know

November 12th

Cheer on citizens in West Virginia who fight back against DuPont and other companies that knowingly poison their drinking water by dumping toxic waste.  Guests from Earth Ministry and Toxic Free Seattle will participate in post-film discussion.

Labor Wars of the Northwest
September 10th
See labor strife in the Pacific Northwest from 1900 to 1930. Learn how 65,000 working class people  went on strike to fight for dignity through better wages, reasonable hours, and workplace safety. Discussion with Director David J. Jespen follows.
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Undocumented Tales

July 16th

7 pm Start time!

in Partnership with SOMOS Seattle for Latinx Pride Festival. Short films on Latino LBTQ lives and experiences that follow the journey of Fernado Gutierrez, an undocumented queer immigrant from Mexico living in the US.

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Standing on My Sisters Shoulders 

June 11

7 pm Start time!


One of the best films on the Civil Rights Movement, this award winning documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it - and emerged as grassroots leaders. 

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This Living Salish Sea

NEW DATE Thursday May 21st

7 pm Start time!

 This film explores the living treasures of the Salish Sea and the powerful undercurrents of resistance to the corporate fossil fuel agenda that threaten it. This film will be a look below the mirror of the surface, to explore some of the living treasures that inhabit the second largest “inland” sea in North America. It will also be a look below the mirror of society to explore powerful undercurrents of resistance welling up, in this time when humanity faces a crisis, and a crossroad.

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When VW Lied to America

May 14

7 pm Start time!


It’s the largest auto scam in the world and it’s not over yet. What began in California is reverberating globally and this film shows the inside story from the men and women (mostly women) who took down this auto giant.

Human Flow
March 12
6:30 pm Start time!

Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.  Human Flow gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration.

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Trickle Down Town
January 8

This brand-new film takes an up-close look at homelessness in Seattle. There are in-depth interviews with homeless people and visits to local homeless camps, including Camp Second Chance here in West Seattle. Also shown are people who are working hard to help their homeless neighbors.


Film maker Tomasz Biernacki will attend the screening.


2018 Archive

Faces Places

7pm, December 11

Director, Agnes Varda and JR visit villages and small towns throughout France to meet communities of people and create large portraits of them to plaster on the surroundings.

Buildings, Trucks become canvases for giant renderings of regular folks with delightful outcomes.

500 Years - a film About Resistance

NOTE:  Date change to Friday, Oct 5, 2018,  7:00 pm

We are pleased to partner with el Centro de la Raza, Seattle Public Library, Chapines en Seattle and The Resistance Saga to present the local screening of this documentary about Guatemala.  It will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles.  A question and answer session follows the movie.

This film (2017) by Pamela Yates about the trial of Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide against the country's indigenous Maya population in the 1980s and the popular uprising that followed the trial, which led to the toppling of President Otto Perez Molina.[1][2][3] 

The film was screened at the Sundance[1] and London Human Rights Watch Film Festivals, and Seattle International Film Festival.[4] It is the third film in a three film trilogy which also includes When the Mountains Tremble and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator. 


Soldiers of Conscience

November 13

When is it right to kill? Eight U.S. soldiers today, some who killed and some who said no, reveal their inner moral delimas.


The Music of Strangers

September 11

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and other international artists of The Silk Road Project discuss their philosophies on music and culture. Follow this group of creatives as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.


 Morgan Neville


 Yo-Yo MaKinan AzmehKayhan Kalhor 

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Bill Nye: Science Guy
June 12

Bill Nye is a man on a mission: to stop the spread of anti-scientific thinking across the world. The former star of the popular kids’ show “Bill Nye the Science Guy” is now advocating for the importance of science, research and discovery in public life. With intimate and exclusive access—as well as plenty of wonder and whimsy—this behind-the-scenes portrait of Nye follows him as he takes off his Science Guy lab coat and takes on those who deny climate change, evolution and a science-based worldview. The film features Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan and many others. The film is produced by Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado presented courtesy of Point of View.

Pulling Together

May 8

We travel on the water with the brand new Muckleshoot canoe family as they undertake the challenges of their first tribal canoe journey.

April 10

Double Feature!

AFSC Tribal Canoe Journey

Special guest, Producer Jeff Smith. Introduces the revival of the tribal canoe journey on Pacific Northwest waters.

Plane Truths

Special guests, Producers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young. Examines the community pollution and other impacts of U.S. Navy expansion on Whidbey Island, comparable to airplane-caused sound and air pollution on Beacon Hill. 

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Featuring Al Gore

March 13

A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought the climate crisis into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy.

Cameras follow him behind the scenes — in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion. Community climate activists from South Seattle ClimateAction will join the discussion.


I Am Not Your Negro

February 13, 2018

7pm, Centilia Room at El Centro de la Raza 

I Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar EversMalcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.

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