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) were shown and discussed, focusing on the participants’ personal experiences.  This seminar from 2016 focused on the role of the family in teaching us how resilience develops over a lifetime and across generations.Learn about the films shown by clicking on the title hyperlinks below.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller

Apu Trilogy

Mindfully watching the way families express love, endure loss, and locate their own resilience helps all of us see how we may face life’s inevitable challenges. These epic films about family are set within distinct cultural settings (11th c. Japan, 18th c. France, 19th c. Denmark, China, U.S., India, Japan, and Sweden). Directors include Gabriel Axel, Ingmar Bergman, D. W. Griffith, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Alexander Payne, Satyajit Ray, Jean Renoir and Wayne Wang.

Film Order:

Orphans of the Storm
The River
The Apu Triology
Sansho, the Baliff
The Joy Luck Club
Babette’s Feast
Fanny and Alexander 
The Descendants
Rhapsody in August