I came across this interview and this movie trailer through the Tribeca Film Festival website. I was on there peeking around at what might be interesting to see as the festival approaches and this title :: American Mystic, caught my eye.
Both the trailer and the interview with the director are great. The film follows 3 individuals, each of different and off the beaten path faiths, and shows their rituals, their lives, where they search for meaning. Alex Mar, the director, expressed a lot of my own views in her interview. She says, " And I think the other part of it too is just being a New Yorker, I really feel like everyone I ever grew up with, my friends here or in LA or London, it's really fashionable to be some kind of intellectual atheist liberal type, but it doesn't actually answer any questions, not to believe in anything. Everyone wants to believe in something. So the people in this film, even if I can't relate to everything they do or practice, I totally respect their desire for some kind of mystery in their lives. "
In today's world of people going through their professional and social motions--another week at the office, another dinner at a restaurant--its exciting to remind ourselves that there is so much more out there, and so much passion that doesn't add up to a bigger paycheck or a fancier car. My frustration with atheism and those who relate to it, is how can you believe that what we have in front of us is it ? That there is no greater force in such a beautiful world ? And of course without opposites how is anything delineated ? Without black how is there white ? Without cold what is hot ? What is this world is there is no other ? Having not been brought up in church or synagogue I am certainly not here to tell anyone how to believe. It's just hard for me to imagine not believing. And in this light, Alex searched for believers where the group was not exclusive. That did not feel " because we believe this way you must too " or " you are not welcome because of x, y, or z " which I think is an important choice in opening up people's minds to faith.
I am excited to see this movie and glad to have the wheels turning this morning. As we walk through our days it's unusual to have our eyes opened to the alternate universes that exist right here in our own towns and states, and even more unusual that we are open to them and don't laugh or roll our eyes. It appears as though Alex has presented them in a form where we might judge a little less and listen a little more. I mean at the end of the day, what's normal anyway ?
Read the interview and watch the trailer through the links above !
[image courtesy of tribecafilmfestival.org]