Since 1990 Dr. Francis Lu and Brother David Steindl-Rast have led annual 5- or 7-day film seminars at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.  Films on a particular spiritual theme (such as Healing Through Gratefulness) are shown and discussed, focusing on the participants’ personal experiences.  In 2004 “Renewing Integrity Through Film: The Vision of Truth” was the theme.

To Kill a Mockingbird DVD

Integrity in life means not only behaving according to certain moral principles, in the sense of honesty and sincerity, but also striving for wholeness within and harmony with others.  This film seminar explores this virtuous quality of life, which is – according to Erik Erikson – the highest stage of human development.

In these eight feature films the main actor/actress embodies integrity in luminous, numinous performances.  Watching these performances trains our eyes, minds, and hearts for a most specific purpose:  to see, understand, and feel the longings of our psyches for integrity and truth.  Through empathy and compassion for others, we can move towards integrity. Films have a unique power to facilitate this process.

Films shown in this order:

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Rules of the Game (1939)
The Fog of War
The Insider
The King of Masks
Ulee’s Gold
Roman Holiday

Late-night bonus films shown:

Whale Rider
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Singin’ in the Rain