Walk with Me
Walk with Me
'Walk With Me' follows a community of Zen Buddhist monks and nuns who have dedicated their lives to mastering the art of mindfulness with their world-famous teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Filmed over three years in France and the USA, this intimate and meditative film travels deep inside a world that seems far from our everyday, and reveals how the monastics transform suffering in themselves and in others through their deep enquiry into the nature of existence, suffering, and their true selves.
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May 12, 2018 at 02:44 AM
Film makers too close to their subject?
This is being touted sometimes as a documentary, which it absolutely is not. Its mainly just a series of fragmentary and unexplained glimpses of life in Plum Village (located in rural SW France), involving both monastic residents and temporary visitors, plus some scenes of monks and nuns traveling abroad. There isn't much dialog, and virtually no "teaching".
I kind of enjoyed it; but this was possibly ONLY because I've experienced silent Buddhist meditation retreats and thus have some idea of what's going on, and I already know who Thich Nhat Hanh is and what Plum Village is about. Viewers without any basic foreknowledge are going to be totally lost from the get-go.
Thich Nhat Hanh is of course legendary, and in the past I have enjoyed listening to recordings of a few of his Dharma talks which I find rewarding. This presentation does not provide anything remotely like that.
I think that the main thing I came away with was a reconfirmation that I'm not a likely candidate for strict monkhood!
A beautiful immersive introduction to mindfulness and Buddhism
This film immerses the viewer into Thich Nhat Hanh's practice of mindfulness and approach to life. It sets a beautiful mood while showing the life at a Buddhist monastery. The viewer experiences Thich Nhat Hanh teaching, children asking difficult questions, monks and nuns playing calming classical music - interrupted by a bell after which everyone pauses to contemplate the present moment.
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yet another aimless documentary
Zen Buddhism is a really interesting way to look at the world, and Thich Nhat Hanh is arguably one of its great teachers. But neither comes through in this well meant but pointless film.
The film fails to tell you much of anything. You don't learn who Thich Nhat Hanh is, what he's doing, where he's doing it (beyond somewhere in France), or why he's doing it. There's no history, no context. It's mostly just following a guy around, and I mean that literally, there are minutes on screen of the back of a guy's head as he walks about.
You won't learn much of anything about Zen Buddhism. The five core precepts aren't mentioned, nor the 14 mindfulness teachings. You'll have to look them up because IMDb won't let me post a link here.
You'd think that any film about Thich Nhat Hanh would at least mention what he's known for. If you think that, this film will disappoint you.
And I have to say the camera work played against what little message there was. For example, there were way, way, way too many extreme closeups, which emphasizes the individual and downplays the connections between all things that Thich Nhat Hanh teaches.
Thich Nhat Hanh and the Zen Buddhism he teaches deserve a better film than this.