Archive for the ‘documentary’ Category

I spent much of the afternoon and evening watching videos on Culture Unplugged. . . They are currently having a film festival on spirituality. . . Here are ones i saw today and can recommend each of them. . .


The Cross and the Bodhi Tree : Director: Alan Channer | Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2001

Synopsis: This documentary film portrays the extraordinary spiritual journeys of Father François Ponchaud, a French Catholic priest, and Mother Rosemary, an English Anglican nun. The priest and the nun lead very different lives. Fr Ponchaud translated the Bible into Khmer and wrote the definitive history of the Catholic church in Cambodia. M. Rosemary entered a life of silence and prayer in her twenties. She took a sabbatical at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in England, where she struck enduring friendships. Both Ponchaud and Rosemary have faced difficult questions posed by their head-on encounter with Buddhism. Questions like, “Has your contact with Buddhism changed your thoughts on the uniqueness of Jesus Christ? Can the Holy Spirit act through a Buddhist? Is Buddhist meditation more passive that Christian Prayer?” Their answers are lucid and humble. The result is a film which brings East and West closer together in a profound and thought-provoking way.


Returning Home : Director: Andy Abrahams Wilson | Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2003

Synopsis: The body is our home, as is the larger body of the earth. When these two bodies move in harmony, a dance unfolds. Both are made whole. “Returning Home” is a breathtaking and groundbreaking dance documentary in which 80-something Anna Halprin, pioneer of postmodern dance, uses movement as a means of connecting the individual to nature, and art to real life. In collaboration with performance artist Eeo Stubblefield, Halprin moves along thresholds of earth, wind, water and fire, discovering lessons in loss and liberation. Whether surveying the charred remains of her home, or her scars from cancer and aging, Halprin finds beauty and meaning even in the destructive forces of nature. A testament to the importance of honoring the human and earth bodies, this unforgettable film takes us on a mythic and very personal journey home.


Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet : Director: Victress Hitchcock | Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2009

Synopsis: In a remote nomadic region of Eastern Tibet, 3000 nuns practice an ancient yogic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Despite near extinction during the destruction of the Cultural Revolution, these remarkable spiritual practitioners have emerged to rebuild their monasteries by hand … stone by stone. In 2005, a small group of western women Buddhists traveled to Tibet with the renowned Buddhist teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III, to meet the Nangchen nuns. Using the more than 70 hours of footage shot on this extraordinary journey, Chariot Videos has produced “Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet”. Narrated by Richard Gere, the film provides a fascinating glimpse into a world most of us will never see first-hand. A moving, very personal account of a unique meeting of East and West, the film is an inspiration to anyone seeking a spiritual path through the challenges of 21st century life.


Forgiveness and Healing : Director: Link TV | Genre: Documentary | Produced In: 2009

Synopsis: Most world religions and wisdom traditions include teachings on the nature of forgiveness. From the notion of divine forgiveness to that of humans practicing forgiveness, there are countless spiritual myths, lessons and teachings that explore the complex nature and process of forgiveness and reconciliation in their various forms. Outside of the spiritual realm, psychologists, sociologists and doctors are among the scientific disciplines researching this perennial human need. The desire to forgive is widely recognized by the public, but they are often at a loss for ways to accomplish it. A 1988 Gallup poll found that 94% of people asked said it was important to forgive, but 85% said they needed some outside help to be able to do it. This episode of “Global Spirit” explores forgiveness and healing on a personal and societal level, illuminating how spiritual practice and compassion can aid us on this most critical of journeys. Host Phil Cousineau brings together guests who each approach the topic from a different angle. We see Ed Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt take a group of traumatized Vietnam War vets back to the land where they fought and killed, to help them learn the art of “forgiveness of the self” for what they did during a war almost 40 years ago. Program guest Azim Khamisa practices “forgiveness of the other” as he traces how he learned to forgive the boy who murdered his own son. Now Khamisa works with the killer’s grandfather to foster forgiveness and healing with young audiences all over the world.

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