Producer/Director/Editor: Leyla & Ryan Haidarian

Music: Benny Cassette

Interviewees: Adam Habib, Gregory Dahl, Iraj Abedian, Michael Karlberg,  Nick Binedell, Xolela Mangcu

Logline: Beyond our culture of contest lies a different kind of democracy: gentle, just and… inevitable.

Beyond King of the Mountain is a documentary short about the evolution and future of democratic governance.



The prospect of democracy is commonly thought of as the culmination of maturation for any nation. And the topic is as hot as ever: The citizens of some countries like Iran are raising the call for “freedom”, while others are celebrating years of freedom from oppressive regimes. The world watches America’s democratization efforts in Afghanistan, and news networks all over the world are discussing how social networking sites like Twitter affect freedom of speech and democratic governance on a global scale.

But this age of information and globalization has placed new and unexpected challenges on many democracies, both young and old. These challenges perplex analysts, politicians and ordinary people who put their faith in a system which emerged under a particular set of circumstances at the onset of the industrial revolution in the West.

Beyond King of the Mountain unpacks some of the current challenges our democratic systems are facing and specifically proposes that their future may lie in a mutualistic, non-adversarial paradigm. It suggests that democracy has come a long way in realizing the ideal of brotherhood and equality but will, perhaps, have to move from a win/lose to a win/win paradigm if it is to address humanity’s needs. It questions the fact that we view democracy exclusively as a contest and suggests that “by the people for the people” can be realized in other, more inclusive ways, thus stimulating a consultation on the possibilities.


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