Grades Grades 7-12, College, Adults
Directed by John de Graaf
DVD Purchase $195, Rent $45
US Release Date: 2014
Copyright Date: 2013
DVD ISBN: 1-94154-500-9
Labor and Work Issues
Awards and Festivals
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
EcoFocus Film Festival
The Great Vacation Squeeze|
From the producer of the classic AFFLUENZA, this film shows why vacations are important for productivity, happiness, family bonding and especially health.
Americans have the shortest vacations of any rich country. And they are actually getting even shorter. The US is one of only five countries in the world -- the others are Burma, Nepal, Suriname and Guyana -- which have no law guaranteeing any paid vacation time for workers. The average US vacation is a bit over two weeks, while the median is only about a week and a half, and American workers give back about three vacation days every year. Europeans enjoy five or six weeks of vacation each year and are healthier than Americans.
Vacations matter -- for productivity, happiness, family bonding and especially, health. Men who don't regularly take vacations are a third more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who do; women are fifty percent more likely, and far more likely to suffer from depression.
Making the case for more vacation time are: Shelton Johnson, a ranger naturalist in Yosemite; Rick Steves, the world's best-selling travel writer; and Sara Speck, cardiologist and director of a cardio-vascular wellness program, who tells patients to "take two weeks and call me in the morning."
Other films by John de Graaf are AFFLUENZA, ESCAPE FROM AFFLUENZA, BUYER BE FAIR, SILENT KILLER: The Unfinished Campaign against Hunger, THE MOTHERHOOD MANIFESTO, WHAT'S THE ECONOMY FOR, ANYWAY?, BEYOND ORGANIC, ON NATURE'S TERMS, HOT POTATOES, FOR EARTH'S SAKE: The Life and Times of David Brower, and DAVID BROWER: A Conversation with Scott Simon
"Finally there is a film that addresses over-work in the United States and offers a real world solution for making change. The Great Vacation Squeeze is well researched, fun, and accessible. It would be a valuable addition to a wide variety of courses including Medical Sociology, Social Problems, Social Movements, Intro, Sociology of Work and Leisure, and more."
Melinda Messineo, Professor of Sociology and Director of Freshman Connections, Ball State University
"A useful tool for jump-starting several conversations in the classroom. Additionally, it discusses a topic rarely discussed in the United States- the lack of mandatory paid vacation - and the unique and potentially detrimental effects that policy decision may have on the American worker."
Jeremiah Coldsmith, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Teaching Sociology
"The Great Vacation Squeeze reminds me why I became a parks, recreation and tourism professor by focusing on the power that vacations have on people's lives. While economics are the traditional starting point in studying and teaching tourism, the documentary goes beyond in examining the social, cultural, personal, educational and health benefits of vacations. The film challenges park and recreation educators and their students to better understand and better communicate the potential leisure travel plays in American's quality of life. However, the documentary doesn't stop there; it takes vacations into the role of politics and public policy in addressing the shrinking number of Americans taking vacations and the number of days they sneak away. Watching The Great Vacation Squeeze provokes and informs. I look forward to using the film in my classroom and the discussion and debates that emerge from my students."
Dr. William C. Norman, Professor of Parks, Recreation and TourismManagement, Clemson University
"With his typical wit, wisdom, and artistry, film-maker John de Graaf has once again revealed a universal truth that has spanned the ages since early civilizations, but has yet to fully reach modern America--that time is our most precious resource and it is best invested in life, not just work...I recommend [the film] for courses related to health, recreation, and education. Indeed, I recommend The Great Vacation Squeeze for any setting where people are concerned for the health and well-being of themselves and their communities."
Charles Sylvester, Chair and Professor, Department of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation, Western Washington University
"The film makes a strong case that many Americans today are missing out on a key element of the pursuit of happiness: time off to recharge, reflect, and reconnect. It's sure to generate lively discussion about the exceptionalism of the United States in not guaranteeing the right to take an annual break from work."
Anders Hayden, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dalhousie University, Author, Sharing the Work, Sparing the Planet: Work Time, Consumption and Ecology
"The Great Vacation Squeeze brings to light the vast differences between the United States and other developed nations with regard to paid vacation time...This well-made documentary sheds light on a serious issue that requires attention in the U.S. and can be an excellent educational tool for students in various areas, including public health, public administration, tourism studies, anthropology, labor, and economics and will hopefully initiate a serious dialogue on the matter."
Dr. Sevil Sonmez, Professor of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, and Tourism, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
"A perfect fit for the university classroom. Students thrive on facts and well thought out testimonials from the experts and they are all here in a compact, thought-provoking format. It is a perfect opportunity to open discussion of what a quality life really entails. And, after all, it is this generation which has the most to lose if vacations keep dwindling. Someone or something needs to light their fires! This topic easily fits into subject areas of recreation and leisure studies, all the social sciences, travel and tourism, education, and of course, business."
Dr. Barbara Brock, Professor Emeritus of Recreation Management, Eastern Washington University
"Time researchers have convincing evidence that vacation time is not only related to the psychological, social and physical well-being of the individual but results in more effective and productive workers over the long term. The lack of vacation time in the United States compared to that in other countries is inexcusable. This film makes the strongest case yet for vacation legislation. I am recommending it to everyone concerned with the quality of their lives. I also believe it should be essential watching for university classes studying any aspect of the psychological, social and physical well-being of Americans and our society."
Robert Levine, Professor of Psychology, California State University - Fresno, Author of Geography of Time
"Pope Francis recently suggested that 'busyness is the enemy of human purpose.' He's right! We all need to regularly disconnect and re-create ourselves. We all need meaningful work; and, just as important, we all need meaningful play and vacations!"
Al Gini, Professor, Business Ethics, Chair, Dept. of Management, Loyola University-Chicago, Author, The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacation