6.7/10
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5 user

Stepping Into the Fire (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Adventure, Biography | 2011 (USA)
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This documentary is about successful man living an unfulfilling life and his road towards truth and happiness. It provides insight into ancient shamanic practices and commentary on human spirituality and wellness

Directors:

Ouroboros, Ross Evison (co-director) | 1 more credit »
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This documentary is about successful man living an unfulfilling life and his road towards truth and happiness. It provides insight into ancient shamanic practices and commentary on human spirituality and wellness

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA | Peru

Language:

English | Spanish | Bulgarian

Release Date:

2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Interesting, but really dull
25 September 2012 | by Tomas MalySee all my reviews

I found the documentary interesting, but it really bored me. I think whoever came up with how the video was going to be edited and put together wasn't someone with prior experience (or thinking) of trying to make something useful out of it. It was more of just an infomercial for this place in Peru that the guy built.

I don't think enough was emphasized on the actual experience of Ayahuasca. I've gotten more from fiction movie references about what it's about/like and honestly I really didn't feel sold in this documentary. The people really only went into describing their problems and saying how they feel more whole and at peace - but nobody really elaborated on that to express what life felt like or what they saw, heard, etc from the whole experience - they ended up speaking more about what went through their head (briefly) than anything interesting.

But Rob and the individuals interviewed seemed to talk hype about how Ayahuasca was going to make their lives perfect, etc.... more of their personal motives rather than a bigger picture of expanding our awareness. There is also much much more to spirituality/growth than just an enlightening hallucinogenic experience. I seemed to gather more of the vibe that these people were using Ayahuasca to deal with their demons/problems rather than gain some sort of bigger picture of reality, humanity, etc that could maybe save us from ourselves. Not just healing ourselves individually and helping others heal - but shifting our perception of how we treat each other - and getting away from our obsession with money and things. The spiritual journey is really supposed to be about community/connectedness and love more than just healing wounds.

I felt the most useful information was from the shaman, discussing how our modern way of life is grossly insufficient. But I didn't feel sold from what Rob was saying. What he was saying sounded more like an infomercial about his temple project in Peru. Perhaps it just felt that way because this documentary seemed filmed off-and-on over several months, while his project was underway rather than after it was well established.

It felt like the video was recorded arbitrarily without any real vision beforehand. The people interviewed really didn't say anything too interesting other than who they were, what their problems were, and how they felt afterward - and even then, it was not very convincing.

The clips were also shot without much context as to when they were filmed, as it seemed to span at least a 6 month period. It started with the wife really unhappy, miserable, strained from their relationship - and didn't really put that in context of the 'past', so it really made the whole thing seem like a hypocrisy. She was very bluntly unhappy with Rob and this project he was getting involved in - and after she came down and had some time there, we didn't hear much about how their relationship improved, at least not from the wife. I'd have preferred hearing how her marriage has improved directly from her than from Rob.

Also it felt that there really wasn't much of a selling point since the center/temple was really only being built as the documentary was being filmed. I think if they would have waited a few more years and got more people to experience it, it could have been edited to offer a stronger point and been more compelling of a film. The proof to their claims was not very extensive other than about 5-6 people's experiences. There just weren't enough people sharing their experiences. I would have preferred at least 1 or 2 dozen people. Maybe then there would have been at least a few people with some really powerful insights worth highlighting. It also would have helped to focus on their time there and after (how things have improved) - rather than spending half the film recording these people before they even got down to Peru. I think it also would help to have the people elaborate more on how their lives have shifted afterward. The documentary seemed to have only covered these people the days they were down there rather than the weeks/months after they got back home.

In the credits I got the impression that Rob and his wife mainly live in NYC, and I'm guessing he still works on the stock exchange. But I'd like to point out that it's that opportunism - that capitalization - of competition, pursuit of money, etc that drives people to lives of volatility. Crime, poverty, drugs, etc are all side effects of a society that has abandoned tradition and stability/well-being for opportunity, for money making. In a sense, Rob trying to earn money for this project is probably affecting the lives of people who-knows-where, for the worse. I hope that he can focus on this project F/T and let go of feeding poison into the system he seems to want to heal.

Finally, the website doesn't work for most of the pages from what I can tell.


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