Spiritual Practices: Nurturing--Movies

by Tim Johnson | created - 01 May 2013 | updated - 29 Sep 2013 | Public

A spiritual journey is usually considered to be a movement toward community and Spirit but an essential loop of our route must pass through the realm of self. We have to find out who we are before we can make commitments to others. We have to care for our own souls in order to have the energy and strength to care for our families, our neighbors, and the earth.

There are many ways to practice nurturing, and everyone will find his or her own best ways to receive and give nourishment. The spiritual traditions emphasize two in particular. The first is study. Be a lifelong learner; read and contemplate sacred texts and other sources of inspiration that take you deeper into yourself and out into the wider world. Second, keep the Sabbath. Dedicate some of your time to leisure and reflection.

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1. Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel (2003)

PG | 93 min | Documentary, Drama, Family

81 Metascore

When a Mongolian nomadic family's newest camel colt is rejected by its mother, a musician is needed for a ritual to change her mind.

Directors: Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni | Stars: Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin, Amgaabazar Gonson, Zeveljamz Nyam

Votes: 5,655 | Gross: $1.74M

A wonderful Mongolian film about the deep and powerful bonds that link human beings and animals together in a common need for nurturing.

2. All About My Mother (1999)

R | 101 min | Drama

87 Metascore

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan

Votes: 77,544 | Gross: $8.26M

A salute to the enormous fierceness, strength and resolve it takes to be a nurturing person.

3. Ayurveda: Art of Being (2001)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

45 Metascore

Ayurveda is science of life and art of healing; where body, mind and spirit are given equal importance. This voyage of thousands of miles across India and abroad takes you on a unique ... See full summary »

Director: Pan Nalin | Stars: Nicolos Kostopoulos, Vaidya Narayan Murthy, Brahmanand Swamigal

Votes: 396 | Gross: $0.02M

A fascinating documentary that provides a rounded and revealing overview of this ancient holistic healing system.

4. Beaches (1988)

PG-13 | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A privileged rich debutante and a cynical struggling entertainer share a turbulent, but strong childhood friendship over the years.

Director: Garry Marshall | Stars: Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard, Spalding Gray

Votes: 20,303 | Gross: $57.04M

Charts the emotional high points and the painful low points in a long friendship between two very different women.

5. The Bear (1988)

PG | 96 min | Adventure, Family, Drama

An orphan bear cub hooks up with an adult male as they try to dodge human hunters.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud | Stars: Tchéky Karyo, Bart the Bear, Youk the Bear, Jack Wallace

Votes: 14,447 | Gross: $31.75M

A film about a cub's scramble for survival in the wilderness that manages to speak out eloquently against the hunting of animals without having to depict killing to make its point.

6. City Slickers (1991)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy

70 Metascore

On the verge of turning 40, an unhappy Manhattan yuppie is roped into joining his two friends on a cattle drive in the southwest.

Director: Ron Underwood | Stars: Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 42,585 | Gross: $124.03M

A nifty drama about the life-changing experiences of some middle-aged men at a working dude ranch.

7. Conceiving Ada (1997)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Emmy Coer, a computer genius, devises a method of communicating with the past by tapping into undying information waves. She manages to reach the world of Ada Lovelace, founder of the idea ... See full summary »

Director: Lynn Hershman-Leeson | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Francesca Faridany, Timothy Leary, Karen Black

Votes: 362

An innovatively feminist film in which two women struggle to give birth to something that will be lasting despite the intrusion of others.

8. Dinosaur (2000)

PG | 82 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

56 Metascore

An orphaned dinosaur raised by lemurs joins an arduous trek to a sancturary after a meteorite shower destroys his family home.

Directors: Eric Leighton, Ralph Zondag | Stars: D.B. Sweeney, Julianna Margulies, Samuel E. Wright, Alfre Woodard

Votes: 44,430 | Gross: $137.75M

A mesmerizing animated feature set 65 million years ago with a male hero who demonstrates kindness, compassion, and cooperation.

9. Evelyn (2002)

PG | 94 min | Drama

55 Metascore

1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment, and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Julianna Margulies, Aidan Quinn, Sophie Vavasseur

Votes: 5,788 | Gross: $1.48M

A touching Irish drama about a nurturing father's strenuous efforts to keep his family together.

10. Good Bye Lenin! (2003)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas

Votes: 125,025 | Gross: $4.06M

Works exceedingly well as an intimate drama about nurturing love and as a witty political parable about the fall of the German Democratic Republic and the rise of Western consumerism.

11. How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Stella is a highly successful, forty-something San Francisco stock broker who is persuaded by her colorful New York girlfriend Delilah to take a well deserved, first-class vacation to ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan | Stars: Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King

Votes: 6,002 | Gross: $37.67M

Proves that a nurturing love fills an emptiness that nothing else can fill.

12. Kolya (1996)

PG-13 | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Sverák | Stars: Zdenek Sverák, Andrey Khalimon, Libuse Safránková, Ondrej Vetchý

Votes: 13,174 | Gross: $5.73M

A fine portrait of a nurturing male in the making.

13. L.I.E. (2001)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama

73 Metascore

A 15-year-old Long Island boy loses everything and everyone he knows, soon becoming involved in a relationship with a much older man.

Director: Michael Cuesta | Stars: Brian Cox, Paul Dano, Bruce Altman, Billy Kay

Votes: 9,020 | Gross: $1.14M

A daring drama about a poetic and vulnerable teen who is nurtured by someone most of us would consider to be abominable.

14. Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

PG | 132 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

A young, compassionate man struggles to save his family and friends from the abusive exploitation of his cold-heartedly grasping uncle.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent

Votes: 10,454 | Gross: $1.59M

A marvelously entertaining screen adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel about a nurturing young man who learns to take care of himself by taking care of others.

15. Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995)

PG | 115 min | Drama, Romance

A narrator tells the story of his childhood years in a tightly knit Afro-American community in the deep south under racial segregation.

Director: Tim Reid | Stars: Al Freeman Jr., Phylicia Rashad, Leon, Paula Kelly

Votes: 438 | Gross: $3.38M

A heart-warming drama in which community becomes a seedbed where young souls are forged.

16. Or (My Treasure) (2004)

Unrated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

Or shoulders a lot: she's 17 or 18, a student, works evenings at a restaurant, recycles cans and bottles for cash, and tries to keep her mother Ruthie from returning to streetwalking in Tel... See full summary »

Director: Keren Yedaya | Stars: Dana Ivgy, Ronit Elkabetz, Meshar Cohen, Katia Zinbris

Votes: 1,334 | Gross: $0.03M

A gritty and realistic Israeli film about a nurturing young woman who tries desperately to turn her mother away from a life of prostitution.

17. Pastime (1990)

PG | 94 min | Drama, Sport

In 1957, baseball is at its peak as America's favorite pastime. Although united in its love of the game, the country is divided on the issue of Civil Rights. Aging minor leaguer Roy Dean ... See full synopsis »

Director: Robin B. Armstrong | Stars: William Russ, Glenn Plummer, John Achorn, Ernie Banks

Votes: 365 | Gross: $0.27M

A thoughtfully made and intimate drama about a veteran relief pitcher for a class D professional team who turns to mentoring a younger player as his way of saluting the sport he loves.

18. Raising Helen (2004)

PG-13 | 119 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

38 Metascore

After her sister and brother-in-law die in a car accident, a young woman becomes the guardian of their three children.

Director: Garry Marshall | Stars: Kate Hudson, John Corbett, Joan Cusack, Hayden Panettiere

Votes: 33,128 | Gross: $37.49M

Gives Kate Hudson a chance to sparkle as a determined young woman who gives up her career to raise her deceased sister's three children.

19. Zir-e poost-e shahr (2001)

92 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A valuable visual commentary on modern society, 'Under The Skin Of The City' follows one Iranian family in their eternal struggle to stay afloat financially and emotionally. Touba works ... See full summary »

Director: Rakhshan Banietemad | Stars: Golab Adineh, Mohammad Reza Forutan, Baran Kosari, Ebrahim Sheibani

Votes: 1,227

Focuses on a hard working and strong-willed mother in contemporary Teheran, Iran, who demonstrates big-hearted courage.

20. Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002)

R | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

The good-hearted Harbour has spent his whole life trying to take care of his motherless and suicidal little brother, Wilbur. The brothers are inseparable. When in their thirties, they lose ... See full summary »

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Jamie Sives, Adrian Rawlins, Shirley Henderson, Lisa McKinlay

Votes: 7,211 | Gross: $0.23M

A bittersweet Danish film that demonstrates that those who nurture others are the most beautiful souls on the planet.

21. The Winter Guest (1997)

R | 108 min | Drama

A recent widow who is determined to leave Scotland for Australia with her son gets an unexpected visit from her aging mother.

Director: Alan Rickman | Stars: Phyllida Law, Emma Thompson, Sheila Reid, Sandra Voe

Votes: 3,042 | Gross: $0.78M

A warm and winning film about the blessings of human connections.

22. The Women of Brewster Place (1989– )

Not Rated | 200 min | Drama

Based on the novel by Gloria Naylor, which deals with several strong-willed women who live in a rundown housing project on Brewster Place in an unidentified eastern city; across three ... See full summary »

Stars: Oprah Winfrey, Mary Alice, Olivia Cole, Robin Givens

Votes: 913

An engaging portrait of seven women in a ghetto tenement who are struggling to overcome the hardships of poverty and the disappointments of shattered dreams.

23. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

57 Metascore

When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.

Director: Peter Ramsey | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine

Votes: 138,550 | Gross: $103.41M

An unusual tale about a playful free spirit who is thrilled to become a Guardian who watches over children.

24. Smashed (2012)

R | 81 min | Drama

71 Metascore

A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally

Votes: 15,176 | Gross: $0.38M

An authentic and absorbing portrait of a young married woman who is an alcoholic in recovery.

25. Yogawoman (2011)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary

48 Metascore

A documentary that follows some of the women at the forefront of today's yoga movement.

Directors: Saraswati Clere, Kate McIntyre Clere | Stars: Katchie Ananda, Caroline Shola Arewa, Beryl Bender Birch, Annette Bening

Votes: 77

An explanation of the global phenomenon of yoga in the lives of women.

26. Doctored (2012)

Not Rated | 96 min | Documentary

43 Metascore

An investigation into the "monopoly" of the medical industrial complex and how Americans are viewed as patients.

Director: Bobby Sheehan | Stars: Alanah Rafferty, Jim Weber

Votes: 95

A hard-hitting attack on the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry's continuing attacks on alternative therapies.

27. Valley Of Strength (2010)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, History

A love story between Fania, a young Russian immigrant and Yechiel, a native Jew, interweaves with the story of the first wave of European migration to Palestine at the end of the 19th ... See full summary »

Director: Dan Wolman | Stars: Tamar Alkan, Zion Ashkenazi, Lupo Berkowitch, Ya'ackov Bodo

Votes: 46

An engrossing Israeli drama about an extraordinary young Russian Jewish woman who always puts others first and is a nurturer par excellence.

28. Chimpanzee (2012)

G | 78 min | Documentary

57 Metascore

A 3-months-old chimpanzee is separated from his troop and is then adopted by a fully-grown male.

Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield | Star: Tim Allen

Votes: 5,331 | Gross: $28.97M

Another documentary teaching children a dualistic view of the world with good versus evil communities.

29. How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, History, News

86 Metascore

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

Director: David France | Stars: Peter Staley, Larry Kramer, Iris Long, Bob Rafsky

Votes: 3,343 | Gross: $0.13M

A documentary on the impact of a passionate group of dedicated and creative individuals in raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic.

30. La guerre est déclarée (2011)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

73 Metascore

When their young son is diagnosed with a brain tumor, young parents Roméo and Juliette unite in the fight for his survival.

Director: Valérie Donzelli | Stars: Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix, Gabriel Elkaïm

Votes: 4,582 | Gross: $0.05M

An extraordinary French film about the emotional education of a couple with a seriously ill infant.

31. Force of Nature (2010)

93 min | Documentary

Documentary portrait of environmentalist David Suzuki.

Director: Sturla Gunnarsson | Stars: Tara Cullis, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Miles Richardson

Votes: 129

An astonishing documentary about the life and work of scientist and eco-activist David Suzuki who shares his elder wisdom about science, nature, conservation, and the right path of indigenous peoples.

32. War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, History, War

72 Metascore

Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 130,314 | Gross: $79.88M

A spellbinding drama about a heroic horse, the young man who loves him, and the kind handlers who help the horse during the hell he endures on the battlefields of World War I.

33. Dolphin Tale (2011)

PG | 113 min | Drama, Family

64 Metascore

A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap.

Director: Charles Martin Smith | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Nathan Gamble

Votes: 19,832 | Gross: $72.29M

A heart-affecting drama about the loving relationship between a lonely and alienated boy and a badly injured dolphin and the community that supports them.

34. African Cats (2011)

G | 89 min | Documentary, Adventure

61 Metascore

A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild.

Directors: Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart, Mara

Votes: 5,570 | Gross: $15.42M

The struggle for survival in Kenya of a wild cheetah and her newborns and an elderly lioness and her cub.

35. Born to Be Wild (2011)

G | 40 min | Documentary, Short, Adventure

66 Metascore

This heartwarming film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them-saving endangered species one life at a time.

Director: David Lickley | Stars: Birute Galdikas, Daphne Sheldrick, Morgan Freeman, Chris Fries

Votes: 2,753 | Gross: $25.72M

A helpful and healing documentary for families about the work of two women who are caring for orphan elephants and orangutans.

36. Mid-August Lunch (2008)

Not Rated | 75 min | Comedy, Drama

75 Metascore

Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his imposing and demanding elderly mother. His only outlet from her and the increasing debt into which they are sinking, are the increasingly... See full summary »

Director: Gianni Di Gregorio | Stars: Valeria De Franciscis, Marina Cacciotti, Maria Calì, Grazia Cesarini Sforza

Votes: 3,489 | Gross: $0.67M

A thoroughly delightful Italian film about a nurturing man who finds his caregiving responsibilities greatly expanded during a summer holiday.

37. Miesten vuoro (2010)

81 min | Documentary

Finnish men in sauna, speaking straight from the heart.

Directors: Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen | Stars: Timo Aalto, Pekka Ahonen, Aarne Aksila, Mauno Alasuutari

Votes: 2,283

A riveting documentary about the spiritual uses of saunas by Finnish men.

38. Alamar (2009)

G | 73 min | Documentary, Drama

77 Metascore

Before their inevitable farewell, Jorge, a young man of Mayan roots, and Natan, his half-Italian son, spend time together living off the Banco Chinchorro coral reef.

Director: Pedro González-Rubio | Stars: Jorge Machado, Roberta Palombini, Natan Machado Palombini, Nestór Marín

Votes: 2,196 | Gross: $0.06M

An extraordinary portrait of a positive and meaningful father-son relationship that touches the heart.

39. Mother and Child (2009)

R | 125 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A drama centered around three women: A 50-year-old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago, and a woman looking to adopt a child of her own.

Director: Rodrigo García | Stars: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Alexandria M. Salling

Votes: 10,580 | Gross: $1.11M

An extraordinary film about adoption and three very different women on separate quests for love, nurturing, and personal fulfillment.

40. The Boys Are Back (2009)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama

57 Metascore

A sports writer becomes a single parent in tragic circumstances.

Director: Scott Hicks | Stars: Clive Owen, Emma Booth, Laura Fraser, George MacKay

Votes: 9,410 | Gross: $0.81M

An impressive performance from Clive Owen as a single dad who tries to connect emotionally with his two sons and learn from his mistakes.

41. No Impact Man: The Documentary (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary

66 Metascore

Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact.

Directors: Laura Gabbert, Justin Schein | Stars: Colin Beavan, Michelle Conlin

Votes: 1,411 | Gross: $0.10M

A bold and astonishing documentary about the daunting and enlightening ecological project of a radical idealist and his New York City family.

42. Taking Woodstock (2009)

R | 120 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

55 Metascore

A man working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Demetri Martin, Henry Goodman, Edward Hibbert, Imelda Staunton

Votes: 26,410 | Gross: $7.44M

A laid-back, colorful, and groovy glimpse of the magic of Woodstock viewed through the life of an up-tight young man who is a great caretaker unable to treat himself with the same care and support he gives others.

43. Gigantic (2008)

R | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

38 Metascore

A mattress salesman finds his plan to adopt a Chinese baby augmented by the arrival of a young woman, who comes into his workplace, falls asleep on one of the beds, and starts to affect his life upon waking up.

Director: Matt Aselton | Stars: Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, John Goodman, Edward Asner

Votes: 8,950 | Gross: $0.10M

An oddball romantic comedy about the relationship between a nurturing male and a ditzy young woman who doesn't have a clue as to what she really wants.

44. Na-moo-eobs-neun san (2008)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

75 Metascore

In Seoul, Korea, two sisters must look after each other when their mother leaves them to search for their estranged father.

Director: So Yong Kim | Stars: Chae Gil Byung, Jung Gil Ja, Shin Hyun Je, Kim Mi Jung

Votes: 1,530 | Gross: $0.06M

A wonder-inducing drama about a six-year-old Korean girl who takes on adult responsibilities when she and her little sister are abandoned by their mother.

45. Life. Support. Music. (2008)

79 min | Documentary

In August 2004, Jason Crigler, one of New York City's most sought-after guitarists, suffered a brain hemorrhage during a concert in Manhattan. That night at the hospital, the doctors told ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Daniel Metzgar

Votes: 20

Inspiring story of how the love of his family and his creativity are lifelines pulling a young man who suffered a brain hemorrhage back into the land of the living.

46. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

78 Metascore

The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander

Votes: 229,672 | Gross: $75.75M

Will appeal to the freak inside you who refuses to follow orders and is not afraid to let your gentle side out every once in a while.

47. Baby Mama (2008)

PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Romance

55 Metascore

A successful, single businesswoman who dreams of having a baby discovers she is infertile and hires a working class woman to be her unlikely surrogate.

Director: Michael McCullers | Stars: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sigourney Weaver, Greg Kinnear

Votes: 36,990 | Gross: $60.27M

A comedy boasting fetching performances by Saturday Night Live stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

48. The Water Horse (2007)

PG | 112 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

71 Metascore

A lonely boy discovers a mysterious egg that hatches a sea creature of Scottish legend.

Director: Jay Russell | Stars: Emily Watson, David Morrissey, Alex Etel, Bruce Allpress

Votes: 34,403 | Gross: $40.41M

An adventure story about a boy and a creature he raises who just might be the Loch Ness monster.