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This Dewdrop World

by Elizabeth Thompson

A film about personal & planetary loss


Shocked by her mother’s ALS diagnosis, the filmmaker Elizabeth Thompson searched for ways to help her adjust. But in her struggle to come to terms with her mother’s unrelenting decline, Elizabeth sensed a larger story that mirrored her private one. This Dewdrop World is a lyrical essay documentary that interweaves two unfolding stories – a dying mother, an unraveling planet -- illuminating the poetic resonance between the fleeting, dewdrop nature of a single life and a parallel, though largely unseen, story of planetary loss.

Ultimately, This Dewdrop World points to the way loss can awaken us to the beauty in front of us and reanimate our engagement with it – even when we long for things to be different, and even when our efforts seem like a drop in the ocean.


This precious jewel of a film opens us to inner resources for accepting and responding to the inevitability of climate change. It accomplishes this with heart-wrenching beauty, by interweaving two stories: that of the filmmaker's mother facing her death by ALS, and that of our planet's people facing the realities of climate chaos. Each story brings exquisite teachings about how to tolerate impermanence and find grace in uncertainty.  Each guides us to a dual capacity: how to see clearly what we cannot change and how to yet love and act for the sake of life. I want everyone I know and do not know to be refreshed, nourished and emboldened by This Dewdrop World. 
– Joanna Macy, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going Crazy.

A moving and intimate meditation on impermanence, loss, and love.
- David Loy, A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency
This Dewdrop World tells a moving personal story that provocatively illuminates connections between the singular and the universal. Thompson uses a breadth of cinematic styles in this eloquent visual essay.
 - Jan Krawitz, Film Professor, Stanford University

Elizabeth Thompson produced & directed Blink (Emmy Award) & co-produced For Better or For Worse (Academy Award nomination). Her film Bookends was awarded the Jurors’ Choice Award from Black Maria Film Festival. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Sundance Documentary Fund, Creative Work Fund & Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Medi

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