JOIN OR DIE is a film about why you should join a club — and why the fate of America may depend on it. In this feature documentary, follow the half-century story of America’s civic unraveling through the journey of legendary social scientist Robert Putnam, whose groundbreaking “Bowling Alone” research into America’s decades-long decline in community connections could hold the answers to our democracy’s present crisis. Flanked by influential fans and scholars — from Hillary Clinton, Pete Buttigieg, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to Eddie Glaude Jr., Raj Chetty, and Priya Parker — as well as inspiring groups building community in neighborhoods across the country, join Bob as he explores three urgent civic questions: What makes democracy work? Why is American democracy in crisis? And, most importantly…What can we do about it?


Directors: Rebecca Davis is a director and producer based in New York City. She was a senior producer with NBC News for nearly a decade, where her work focused on social movements, environmental and economic justice, and community innovators. She has produced for HBO, VICE, and A&E — and was the supervising producer for Season 2 of Vox’s hit Netflix show Explained. Join, or Die is her first feature film.


Pete Davis is a writer and civic advocate — and a former student of Robert Putnam’s.  He is the author of Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in An Age of Infinite Browsing. He is the co-founder of the Democracy Policy Network, a policy organization focused on raising ideas that deepen democracy.



DIRECTOR(S): Rebecca Davis & Pete Davis


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