U.S.A. Documentary: Saving Walden’s World

U.S.A. Documentary: Saving Walden’s World

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“As a former engineer working on weapons, his words have a special power.”
— Howard Zinn, Historian

When a young arms dealer discovers his work is harming families in less affluent societies, he has an ethical crisis and begins a decades-long journey to redeem himself and make the world a better place. SAVING WALDEN’S WORLD is a revealing new film following Jim Merkel as he raises Walden, a budding scientist, in an off-the-grid homestead and wonders: could the very people his past-life’s work targeted, hold the keys to a sustainable planet?
A journey into “enemy” territory ensues, meeting powerful women who reshape society to work for all. Far from affluent utopias, Kerala, Cuba and Slovenia offer women free college, access to contraception, maternity leave, childcare, dentistry and healthcare. Services unimaginable in much of Jim’s blue-collar America.

As earth temperatures soar, the stakes couldn’t get higher.

Immerse yourself in this intimate father-son exploration of a global shift, where personal and collective decisions about procreation and consumption ripple through generations, resulting in fewer yet healthier children. Land reform and literacy movements offered a route out of poverty. Our inspiring film spotlights the dividends of decades of policies towards social justice.

As population pressures ease driven by the empowerment of women and education, we encounter a stark reality. Many nations are manipulated by a fear of economic decline and attempt to coerce more consumption and births. Could this jeopardize the very progress women are making towards averting the 6th extinction?


James Merkel: Director, Radically Simple (subject)
Deborah Shaffer: Director, The Wobblies
Santhi Rajasekhar: Producer
Catherine Murphy: Producer, Maestra: Cuba’s Literacy Campaign
Robert Maraist: Producer, Off the Grid by Morgan Spurlock and American Standoff by Barbara Kopple.
Dana Rae Warren: Writer, Moon Shot
Jason Rosenfield: Writer, Free Ride
Karen Everett: Writer, El Susto, Below the Belt, Crossing Bhutan
Mickey Green: Editor, Minutes to Die: Snakebite, the world’s ignored health crisis
Nevie Owens: Editor, Dream is Destiny
Robert Maraist: Cinematographer, American Standoff
David Wright: Cinematographer, The Boys Who Said No
J DevikaKey Cast: Feminist Scholar, Center for Development Studies
T.N. Seema: Key Cast, Member of India’s Parliament, Chairperson for Green Kerala
Usha Nair: Key Cast, Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice
Dr. Thomas Isaac: Key Cast, Finance Minster of Kerala
Dr. Raman Kutty: Key Cast, Public Health Expert, Professor/Researcher
Dr. Leidy Casimiro: Key Cast, Economist, Lawyer, Agroecologist
Mavis Dora Alvarez: Key Cast, Agronomist, Specialist in Land Reform and Gender
Norma Guillare Reina: Key Cast, Feminist Psychologist, Literacy Campaign Participant (1961)
Dr. Lusay Andrade Miranda: Key Cast, Family Doctor, Soplillar Clinic
Gaja Brecelj: Key Cast, Director UMANOTERA
Dr. Vesna Leskošek: Key Cast, Dean of Postgraduate Studies
Živa Kavka GobboKey Cast, President, FOCUS
Walden Merkel Cutting: Key Cast, The star, mad scientist, YouTuber and electric guitarist
Susan Cutting: Key Cast, Community organizer who has worked in environmental policy & citizen diplomacy (Russia)


Project Type: Documentary
Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes 54 seconds
Completion Date: December 26, 2023
Production Budget: 418,793 USD
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:Cuba, India, Slovenia, United States
Language:English, Malayalam, Spanish
Shooting Format: HD 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Film Color: Color



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