13 April 2024

Join or Die

By Jenn Wint

When a conversation with a stranger leads to a movie screening you know the mission of Hello Yello, to make cities friendlier one conversation at a time, is working. 

"I was sitting on the ‘Yello Bench’ at our pop up event last year and an older gentleman sat down to have a chat…,”shares Emma Rendell, Marketing Manager for Hello Yello. “He told me that our mission reminded him of a book called ‘Bowling Alone’ by Robert Putnam - which led me to finding the film. It’s a really beautiful full-circle moment to now be screening it for our community here in Vancouver.” 

The book Bowling Alone was published in 2000. At that time author Robert Putnam used data to show that Americans had become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and democratic structures. Putnam was the first to study the topic of social capital and to diagnose the harm that broken bonds between people have wreaked on physical and civic health. His conclusion: joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year.

School performance, public health, crime rates, clinical depression, tax compliance, philanthropy, race relations, community development, census returns, teen suicide, economic productivity, campaign finance, even simple human happiness - all are demonstrably affected by how (and whether) we connect with our family and friends and neighbours and co-workers.
Robert D. Putnam

The award-winning documentary, Join or Die, released in 2023, explores the half-century story of America's civic unraveling through Putnam’s research into America's decades-long decline in community connections.The film explores the 40% decline from the 1970s to the 1990s in the number of Americans who attended even one public meeting on town or school affairs in the previous year. Through interviews with Hillary Clinton and Harvard Economist, Raj Chetty, Putnam makes a compelling argument that we each hold the power to contribute to a society that is happy, healthy, and safe, just by showing up. 

Our national myths often exaggerate the role of the individual heroes and understate the importance of collective effort.
—Robert D. Putnam

Join Hello Yello and Kahani Pictures Tuesday, April 30 at The Beaumont Studios for the Canadian Premiere of Join or Die.


5 MINUTES: Watch the Join or Die trailer

5 DOLLARS: Attend the Join or Die screening on April 30. 

5 DAYS: Join a club or organization in your area.

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