Film and Healing: East and West Francis Lu and Brother David Steindl-Rast

Since 1987, Francis has co-led 17 film seminars at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, on the use of film in healing. Twelve of these 5-day seminars have been co-led by Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk. Topics have included the following: Contemplation, Wholeness, Inner Child, Humor, Nirvana/Salvation, Remembering of Love, Serenity, Spiritual Allies, Courage and Compassion, Hope Arising from Despair, Joy of the Arts, Transformation of Consciousness, Faith/Resilience, Gratefulness, and Forgiveness. During these residential seminars, 8 films on one of these topics would be watched and discussed from the participant's perspective. The goal has been to evoke these qualities for personal growth and development through not only experiencing the film but also group discussion and individual processing. Featured films from all over the world have been used, including, Ikiru, The Harp of Burma, Tokyo Story, The Joy Luck Club, Babette's Feast, Bagdad Café, and City Lights.

In this presentation, we will review key films for ht eseminar topics and describe the process of the seminars. This work is applicable to teaching of students as well as potentially in work with patients.