The Spiritual Experience of Viewing Great Films.

Departures

From the website gratefulness.org, there are links to a tremendous source of recommended films from the Esalen Institute. At the Institute, they regularly offer film seminars with the overall theme, Renewing Wholeness: The Spiritual Experience of Viewing Great Films.

Some of the highlights are lists on these themes: forgiveness, the feminine, hope for the future, and wisdom & compassion. And then there is the top 20 list: beautiful films, old and new, American and foreign, they all make a statement about the enduring necessity of living connected to others, with love and grace, as difficult as that is much of the time.

From that list I watched three films that are new to me and I am glad I discovered them.
Departures, a Japanese film about a young man who answers a job ad for a company called “Departures”, thinking it is a travel agency, only to discover it is all about preparing people (both dead and alive) for the final journey. King of Masks, a Chinese film about an itinerant mask artist, who performs street theater in 1930s Szechwan, and the abandoned child he adopts so he can pass on his theatrical legacy. And, The Burmese Harp, the classic anti-war film made in Japan in 1956, about one man’s challenge to live humanely in evil circumstances.