Face Value: For What It’s Worth

Face Value: For What It's WorthFace Value was created with the intention of leading the viewer through four different themes to explore the (dis)connection between our personal values and the values we express as a society through our economic and political systems.
Our central question is: What is it about the way we structure our society that creates a disconnection between personal and common/shared values? We discussed in particular whether there are systems we could adopt that allow for a more sustainable way to run our society. The project’s goal was to start some provocative conversations with a variety of people who have interesting perspectives on this topic.
We looked at the proposed and controversial Enbridge pipeline project (British Columbia, Canada) as a specific, tangible example of the “structures our society creates” (ie. investing in carbon intensive infrastructure) and how, even though many people feel that this project does not reflect their personal values, our political and economic structures still seem to support it.
The film title Face Value carries a double meaning. Not only do we tend to get stuck in an economic system that only considers the face value of our environment, and not its “true” value in the broadest sense, but it also suggests that a transition to a sustainable society will require us to face our personal values, and ensure that we create a democratic process in which individual values are represented in the decisions we make as a society.

Face Value is a student documentary produced as a course project for a class at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) called the Change Lab. Change Lab focuses on the study and intersections of sustainability, social change, and education. The course aims to provide students with a unique and empowering experience that might otherwise be difficult to come by in a traditional degree program. It was filmed, edited and produced by Ashleigh Kolla and Karl Oskar Teien during their two semesters in the course.

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