Director's interviews, accompanied by archival footage and original music, Ram Dass explores our universal human condition and behaviors in connection to the journey of the soul and the shar... Read allDirector's interviews, accompanied by archival footage and original music, Ram Dass explores our universal human condition and behaviors in connection to the journey of the soul and the shared unity of all of our lives.Director's interviews, accompanied by archival footage and original music, Ram Dass explores our universal human condition and behaviors in connection to the journey of the soul and the shared unity of all of our lives.
Instead of producer and director Jamie Catto eliciting information about Ram Dass and his life, we get him doing this and also spending time sharing his own spiritual journey and points of view. It isn't that this is wrong; however, I came to see a film about Ram Dass, a man who has influenced so many of us baby boomers and others with his willingness to expand our understanding of life as it is.
Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) found a yearning from within to better understand life as he and others were experiencing it. He had questions about what and why life, the way it was unfolding for him, was unsatisfactory. With these questions, he began a quest to better understand it all.
Meeting with Dr. Timothy Leary, he started taking various types of drugs, psilocybin and then LSD to expand his consciousness. But it wasn't until he met Neem Karoli Baba, a Hindu spiritual teacher in India that he called Maharaj-ji, did he find his guru and path. In Maharaj-ji he found loving acceptance and limitless love for who he was.
The film intersperses current time interview segments with Catto, with previously recorded film and video segments of Ram Dass teaching groups of people. These clips cover a broad spectrum of his life and help to make this story interesting.
Moments, where Catto shared his understanding of Dass's teachings looking for approval and pats on the back from Dass, got tiring. At one point Jamie outright told Ram that he thought of Dass as his father figure and it came across, to me, as needy and approval seeking.
The film did not spend as much time on Ram's hospice work, for which he's very well known and respected. But Dass did talk a little about it by telling a couple of stories, in video clips, of patients he worked with. He also spoke about the importance of embracing both the concept and actual death as it arrives at each of us.
It was in these segments along with a couple of other discussions that I fell into enjoying this film wholeheartedly. I've come to understand many of the same things that Dass has learned through my own meditation practices and readings, including his books "Being Here" and "Still Here."
Catto, as I previously indicated, spent too much time sharing his own teachings and understandings, as I came to see this film about Ram Dass.
Overall: Not quite the film it could have been, but there are genuinely out-loud enjoyable moments.
- Sep 28, 2019