Film Review: Crazy Wisdom

“Crazy Wisdom”
A film by Johanna Demetrakas

“Any perception can connect us to reality properly and fully. What we see doesn’t have to be pretty, particularly; we can appreciate anything that exists. There is some principle of magic in everything, some living quality. Something living, something real, is taking place in everything.”

I have been looking forward to seeing this for some time. I have to admit, I have not read a ton of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, but what I have read, and know about him, he was quite the audacious and in your face type of guy. His form of wisdom, appropriately dubbed crazy wisdom, broke many of the molds that westerners thought Buddhism was.

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DVD Review: Dhamma Brothers

The Dhamma Brothers
Bullfrog Films

Inside one of the nations toughest and most dangerous prisons, Donaldson Correction Facility, lies the heart of the Buddha.

Dhamma Brothers is an absolutely amazing documentary that follows dharma teachers Bruce Stewart and Jonathan Crowley as they lead a 10 day Vipassana retreat with 36 prisoners. Bruce and Jonathan “camp out” at the prison the whole time during the retreat.

Regardless of the wrongs these men committed they were all on the same playing field during the retreat. There were no murderers, no rapists, no burglars, just 36 men trying there best to truly change the way the live their lives, knowing full well they may never see beyond the prison walls.

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DVD Review: Fierce Light

Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action
Fiercelight Films/ Seville Pictures

I believe the director, Velcrow Ripper, had this quote from Gandhi in mind when he started this project, “I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.”

Velcrow, after the loss of his dear friend Brad Will could have easily changed course, allowed his anger and frustration to wash over him. Instead he let the unfortunate moment inspire him and this film. The cast of characters/ spiritual revolutionaries is large, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Noah Levine, Daryl Hannah, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Van Jones and tons more.

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DVD Review: The Cup

The Cup
Fine Line Features/ Festival Media

The Cup is an innocent story of a childish infatuation, soccer. Filmed in India at the Chokling Monastery, The Cup tells the tale of Orgyen, a young monk who has been exposed to the game of soccer. Not only has he become infatuated with the sport, which is more than evident by the posters of his heroes plastered in his room, but he has made many other monks in the monastery fans of the sport as well.

For nights in a row, Orgyen and a few monks manage to ditch from the monastery to view matches at a local viewing place. One night, upon their return, they are caught. Immediately the fear of expulsion from the monastery is felt, and the monks are left in limbo until their fate is revealed.

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DVD Review: Seven Years In Tibet

Seven Years In Tibet
Tri-Star Pictures, Mandalay Entertainment

I’ve seen this movie more times than I can count, but still wanted to review it here for those that haven’t seen it.

Seven Years In Tibet is based on the true story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian adventurer whose primary focus in life was mountain climbing. The movie begins with him leaving his wife, pregnant and distraught, to run off to northern part of India to climb the Himalayas .

Upon arrival he climbs various heights, and at one point reaches a base camp where police British police are waiting to arrest him and his compatriots. They are immediately sent off to a prison camp. Heinrich gets right to work on ways to escape, but gets caught over and over again. Unbeknown to him, his fellow prisoners had been planning their own escape for a while. This time the escape works, and Heinrich and his closest partner on the trip, Peter Aufschnaiter, head towards Tibet.

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Jesus, inspired by Buddhism?

Hollywood is to fill in the Bible’s “missing years” with a story about Jesus as a wandering mystic who traveled across India, living in Buddhist monasteries and speaking out against the iniquities of the country’s caste system.

Film producers have delved deep into revisionist scholarship to piece together what they say was Jesus’s life between the ages of 13 and 30, a period untouched by the recognized gospels.
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