Blog Meditative Cinema

Posted May 4, 2016

By JBFC Marketing Volunteer Dotty Battel

Here’s your opportunity to wrap your mind around the mysteries of life, love, spirituality, and the biggest one of all: death. Explore what it all means with us in Dying to Know (narrated by Robert Redford) on Friday, May 6 at 7:30, our opening night film of The Meditative Life series (May 6-25). This moving doc follows the lives and friendship of Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, two very complex and controversial characters who shaped a generation. As many of you will surely recall, these two Harvard professors began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelic drugs in the early 60s. Leary become the LSD guru, igniting a global counter-culture movement and landing in prison after Nixon declared him “the most dangerous man in America.” Alpert followed a different path…he journeyed to the East, changed his name to Ram Dass, and became a leading spiritual teacher.
Director Gay Dillingham (who will hold a Q&A after the screening) masterfully weaves in both men’s stories. You will hang on every word in the excerpts she shares with us from their intimate reunion shortly before Leary’s death “…during which both of these battered but unbowed explorers of reality come off as nothing less than enlightened.” (MarcMohan, The Oregonian). Listen to this testimonial to the film by rock and roll legend Jackson Browne:

Let me call your attention to a few other highlights in the series:

Taïga: Sunday, May 8, 5:00
By following a single nomadic Mongolian sheep-herding family over the course of a season, this profound and visually stunning film explores the role of ancestral traditions and, as a mining boom comes to the region, the challenge of new relationships between Man and Nature.
Q&A via Skype with filmmaker Hamid Sardar-Afkhami and our programming director, Brian Ackerman.

Journey of the Universe: May 18, 7:30
Back by popular demand….we hosted two remarkable Yale scholars and screened this Emmy Award-winning film five years ago…the evening was so memorable that we decided to have them back and explore what has changed in the universe since then. This engaging and thoughtful film connects such big picture issues as the birth of the cosmos 14 billion years ago to the invisible frontiers of the human genome, and helps us discover the profound role we play in the intricate web of life.
Q&A with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy: May 19, 7:30
This uplifting doc charts poet/activist Robert Bly’s journey in the mid-fifties from Midwestern farm boy to global troubadour, bestselling author of Iron John, and the leader of the men’s movement that sent a million men drumming into the forest.
Q&A with poets Bianca Stone, Regan Good, Sampson Starkweather, Ana Božičević, and film producer Jennifer Nix with New York Times writer Jeff Gordinier

Check our The Meditative Life series page for details on all the films and to purchase tickets.

The Meditative Life is presented with generous support from the Gail Wagner Shenkman Fund. The Meditative Life Community Partner is Garrison Institute.

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