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8 Thought provoking spiritual growth documentaries

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“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” ~Socrates

When we know better, we do better. The following documentaries were made to not only tell a story, but also to make you think differently about something. Enjoy!

1. Happy:

Does money make you HAPPY? What about kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution? Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award® nominated “Genghis Blues” now brings us HAPPY, a film that sets out to explore the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

2. Occupy Love:

“How could the crisis we are facing become a love story?” This is the question of the day as Occupy Love seeks to “connect the dots in this era of rapidly evolving social change and explores the growing realization that the dominant system of power is failing to provide us with health, happiness or meaning. The old paradigm that concentrates wealth, founded on the greed of the few, is causing economic and ecological collapse. The resulting crisis has become the catalyst for a profound awakening: millions of people are deciding that enough is enough – the time has come to create a new world, a world that works for all life.”

3. THRIVE:

What on earth will it take for a spiritual grassroots movement? What else has to happen for us to behave as if it really is not just about our individual self, but every human being on the planet? THRIVE is the documentary you probably don’t want to watch, but need to watch. THRIVE delves deep into hidden structures in place within society that are perpetual impediments to a thriving interconnected populace.

4. Living without money:

The title says it all. “I had everything I needed, I had a house and I had raised two children. I gave it all away.” The documentary follows a day in the life of 68 year-old Heidemarie Schwermer, a German woman who made a deliberate choice to stop using money 14 years ago. Schwermer cancelled her apartment, gave away all of her belongings and kept nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. Now, after 14 years, she is still living almost without money and claims she is feeling more free and independent than ever.

5. Earthling:

Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, Earthlings is about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Also known as “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs, Earthlings will prompt you to think about the deeper impact of your actions.

6. People v. The State of Illusion:

By questioning the very nature of reality through an examination of our perceptions, beliefs and imagination, People v. The State of Illusion is an inspiring movie that will wake up your imagination, encourage hope and elevate your spirit. Directed by Scott Cervine and written and produced by Austin Vickers, the film is “set in the notorious Old Main Prison of the New Mexico State Penitentiary, and tells the story of Aaron Roberts, a single father who is arrested and tried on charges following an incident that claims the life of a woman. He is convicted and sent to prison, and his daughter becomes a ward of the state. While there, an attorney learns of her plight and the story of her father, and decides to represent her in an emotionally-compelling case against the State."

7. Project 10:10:10: pill or perception:

Are you ready to make a change in your life? This is the documentary for you. Studies show that our body contains 50 trillion cells that are like “mini-individuals, each with a consciousness which is controlled by our attitudes and perceptions, which in turn are programmed by our upbringing and our environment. Project 10:10:10 examines the connection between stress and illness, our ability to make thought more real than anything else and how we can become so obsessed with thoughts about the past or future that we create the very things we obsess about."

8. Finding Happiness:

“An innovative blend of drama and documentary, Finding Happiness is the story of journalist Juliet Palmer, an investigative reporter specializing in stories that expose corruption, as she receives an unusual (and unwanted) assignment from her boss at Profiles magazine: she'll visit a spiritual community in northern California that has developed alternative solutions to the world's problems for nearly half a century. While at Ananda World Brotherhood Village, she'll interview its visionary founder. With a fair portion of skepticism and a dash of curiosity, Juliet embarks on a professional and personal journey that will open her eyes and change her life. Filmed on location at the Ananda communities in Nevada County, California, Italy, and India, Finding Happiness follows Juliet as she talks with the real residents of Ananda, who answer her questions and welcome her to a reality she had never imagined possible.”

For more information on spiritual growth documentaries and films, log onto Spiritual Cinema Circle, Top Documentary or through the International Documentary Association. Most of the listed documentaries can be viewed online at no charge, on video demand for a nominal fee or can be purchased for home viewing.

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