Exclusive One-Day Showing at Roxie
2 Showings Only: 7pm, 9pm
Exclusive Q&A after both showings on September 17th with Emma Seppala, Ph.D., Associate Director at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and lead researcher of the study portrayed in the film, and Adam Burn, and Hannah MacBride, two young veterans (Air Force and Marine Corps, respectively) recently healed of PTSD symptoms through the techniques taught in the film.
What is consciousness, really? How does it manifest in the brain and body?
And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices?
Professor Richard J. Davidson, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, took the Dalai Lama’s advice to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness. Dr. Davidson, who was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2006, did just that, and the results of his studies at Wisconsin’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds are portrayed in the fascinating new documentary, FREE THE MIND.
“Thank you for giving me my life back.” “I feel like I’ve been dead since I came back from Iraq and I feel like I’m alive again.” These are the powerful words that the veterans portrayed in the film shared with Dr. Seppala, lead scientist on the study. Free the Mind, a documentary by award-winning documentary filmmaker Phie Ambo, follows two innovative research studies: the first , headed by Dr. Seppala who will speak at the two showings at Roxie on September 17th, investigates yoga-based breathing practices for war veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and returned with combat trauma, the second investigates a kindness and mindfulness curriculum for pre-school children with disabilities.
By studying the practices of Tibetan monks and other meditative techniques, Dr. Davidson found that it is actually possible to rewire the brain through meditation and mental training exercises, and he has dedicated himself to applying this discovery to improve the lives of people throughout the world.
Can these interventions make a difference? Can he free these people from their troubled existences and help them lead ordinary lives? Free the Mind follows three test subjects “one school-aged boy and two veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” on a daring journey into the deepest recesses of the human mind.
Grips your heart from the first moment …a great and beautiful film. Visually Brilliant. — Film Comment
Artistically crafted. Riveting. Engrossing. – Filmmaker Magazine
“My main interest is promoting ethics without touching religion. Ethics are universal values. We must find a way to promote the basic human values in a secular way without touching religion. In order to do this, the scientific findings are very, very convincing and Richard’s work is very helpful in this field. Sometimes I call him guru of science!” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama