Join us this summer for a film series of classic Buddhist-themed films. followed by a brief discussion led by InsightLA teachers. Each of the evenings will begin with a short meditation, the feature film screening, followed by an opportunity to discuss led by an InsightLA teacher.
The feature film for this evening is “The Dhamma Brothers” (2007). Filmed in 2002 at the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Ala., one of the most violent prisons in North America, the film follows a small group of inmates through the rigors of a strict vipassana meditation retreat. For nine days the prisoners lived by the five precepts, and follow a regimented schedule of meals, rest and noble silence. According to the convicted murderer Grady Bankhead, those nine days were tougher than his eight years on Death Row. Others interviewed include prison staff (cautiously impressed with the students behavioral changes), members of the inmates’ families and members of the public. The filmmaker also documents the mixed emotions and institutional conflicts that emerged when the Christian prison ministry attempted to have the program shut down. Vipassana means, “to see things as they are,” says Bruce Stewart, one of the program’s two teachers. For men like Mr. Bankhead, that may be the only freedom they will ever know.
7p-8p Meditation and Introduction to the film
8p-9:15p Film Screening