This documentary reveals the exploratory work of a team from the University of Montreal who seek to understand the states of grace experienced by mystics and those who meditate. Filmmaker Isabelle Raynauld offers up scientific research that suggests that mystical ecstasy is a transformative experience and could contribute to people's psychic and physical health, treat depression and speed up the healing process when combined with conventional medicine. In French with English subtitles.
Scared Sacred is a feature documentary that asks the question: Can we be Scared into the Sacred? The film takes us on a journey to the pivotal ground zeros of the world, places like Bosnia, Hiroshima, New York City and Afghanistan in search of stories of hope and meaning.
This documentary introduces us to Stephen Jenkinson, once the leader of a palliative care counselling team at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is "a wretched anxiety and an existential terror" even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life's mission to change the way we die - to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.
Tahani Rached’s powerful documentary enters the doors of an AIDS clinic in Montreal. We meet a group of dedicated doctors struggling to provide health care to their patients. This 1994 film explores legal and ethical problems surrounding HIV/AIDS and the struggle against fear, rumours and prejudice. It is still relevant today. In French with English subtitles.
How does a man suddenly abandon his family in favour of an isolated life in a monastery? What is the legacy of Léonard's father's sudden departure? Mon père, le roi captures the painful memories of the son and ex-wife of a man turned “king” of a religious cult. Together with the filmmaker, they take to the road to visit the man who abandoned them 45 years ago. For Léonard, it is also a return to the prison where he spent part of his childhood, after having been abducted by his father.
This documentary was made as part of the Tremplin program, with the collaboration of Radio-Canada.
When unexpected illness lands Uncle Bob in the hospital, he's transported from his safe and familiar surroundings to a foreign and chaotic new world. As his stay lengthens, his spirits and health decline until his former life is just a distant memory. It takes a special visit from a special visitor to motivate him to get well. This animated short is a charming look at the importance of cheer, hope and love in the healing process.
This short documentary filmed at Saint Boniface General Hospital, in Manitoba, focuses on the work of 2 women: Gisèle Fontaine, who helps women in childbirth; and Louise Saurette, who attends the dying. Birth and death, moments of transition that involve a transformative journey, have much in common. The midwife and the chaplain offer themselves as guides on the painful and essential path of letting go.
This documentary short was produced as part of the Tremplin program, which enables young Francophone filmmakers to make a first production in a professional context.
Ages 15 to 17
Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Health/Personal Development - Mental Health/Stress/Suicide
Science - Biology
Have a debate in class about the question of, God creating the brain to use it vs. the brain creating God. Have a guest speaker come in who is trained in meditation and willing to give students a taste of the practise. Students should record their feelings immediately after each experience. Ask the class what they think about the impact of a stable mind on a person's health. For example, do they think that if a person has a lot of stress in their life, they are more prone to being sick? To end this lesson, ask students if they think this area remains a great debate because there hasn't been enough scientific research on and the effects of religion on well-being.