SOUTH AMERICA A NEW AWAKENING
DIRECTED BY ALAN STIVELMAN
Available November 17, 2013 Exclusively On Yekra and DVD
Alan is twenty-five years old and is searching for the reasons for his existence – the meaning of life. A camera and a notebook filled with questions are all he needs in order to begin his journey to the Andes and into the deepest corners of the subconscious. Through the eyes of Plácido, an Andean paqo(“priest”), the existence of an invisible world that coexists daily with the visible world will be unveiled before him. Alan seeks to discover the origins of humanity on earth, but in order for him to do this it is first necessary for him to learn to be human. Rituals, initiations and new challenges will unfoldbefore him as the “keys” to unlocking and broadening his consciousness.
Accompanied by Plácido, he will be taken on an introspective journey. Such a journey has never been documented before.
Press kit: http://humanofilm.com/en/
I watched this movie with my fiancé Edgar, and will share a few thoughts. In Spanish, with English subtitles, the protagonist speaks Spanish beautifully! The art & form of the movie is quite lovely… and evocative. You may resonate with the psychic journey because of how the visuals evoke familiarity with your own search for meaning.
Journeying to Peru in the search for meaning… for ME is a non-sequiter… I don’t see why, and the movie does not explain why… such an existential quest would or should take one to Peru, although I imagine it’s as good a place as any to seek out the meaning of our lives.
A Shaman escorts the young protagonist, asking provocative philosophical questions, along a journey of experiential practice interspersed with guiding nuggets of wisdom. “Humano” is an “artist’s film”… an “anthropologist’s film”… a “culturalist’s film”. Not to be watched for excitement or sheer entertainment, but rather it provides a foil for one’s own ponderings of existential questions — the meaning of life, the role of fear, how to discern and make sense of myth and reality, our connection with the earth, forgiveness, universal dreams, ascension, creation, dualism, etc.
Setting out as slowly as the film does, we were both moved to a spiritual readiness platform of discomfort. And the subtitles often require struggle to see.
The ancient Peruvian cultural wisdoms weave and inform the entire journey. “Fear only exists as much as you need it. Fear doesn’t let us see the beauty in things. It doesn’t let us see the Reality.” “Icaro” — a song sung without words. “People built this place with a purpose in mind.” We are called to engage with our universal connection to our ancestors, and to the earth. “All exists to be learned from, not judged, not rejected.”
Since I promote a wellness program based on the wisdom of the ancients, it is fascinating just how people of all places in the world instinctively look to our ancestors for spiritual and practical guidance. Some cultures are particularly long-lived, healthy, and happy, and these are the cultures whose wisdom and lifestyles I most like to embrace and promote.
As a catholic Christian, I definitely had some uncomfortable experiences with the film, witnessing how people dabble with the occult with nary a caution. Yes, we are dust, and unto dust we shall return. But not only are we “matter” — we MATTER. And I could not relate deeply with this film because I experience being “human” so entirely differently than the two protagonists of the film experience being “human”.
As a longevity advisor, I found the entire “almost anti-social” approach disturbing, because while the title is “Humano”, there is a profound disconnection from “PEOPLE” in this young man’s journey for the meaning of being “human”. He listens to one isolated shaman’s philosophical and esoteric perspectives and engages with only this shaman’s exercises, as he interacts mainly with non-human nature, like rocks and water. Nature is truly marvelous, but disconnection from humans goes against MY sensibilities of what it is to be human, which necessarily implies being born of woman, and into SOCIETY. We all need Nutrition, Movement, Relaxation, Connection, and Purpose. This film deals with Purpose, but I find it bereft of all human Connection except with the ancestors’ nuggets of wisdom and stories. The only mention of woman that I recall is an exercise of experiencing a cave as if it were a mother’s womb.
The protagonist is an intellectual, largely residing in his head, and I believe part of the great value of his journey is how he more “comes into his body”… in the beautiful mountains, cold lakes, weighted trekking, etc.
I think particularly some young men who resemble our protagonist… are ever seeking… and see themselves as ALONE in a vast wilderness, rather than learning and listening to and responding to the valuable and complex individuals who are woven in a complex and interdependent community all around them. I think this viewpoint is consistent with a pervasive DEPRESSION in our modern society. Isolation. Lack of affect. Clinical Depression.
In enormously densely populated NEW YORK CITY, I’ve heard that 50% of the population eat dinner ALONE.
Like “water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink…” we have people, people everywhere, but not knowing how to Connect. At least not in a fulfilling and meaningful way.
The film ends with describing our body as the most evolved form of matter… with serious cautionary implications for what will happen to this evolutionary chain if the earth is irreparably harmed.
For those who want to experience a sacred journey, and/or learn about Saqras and Apus in a South American setting, this movie will add artistic depth and interesting sights and sounds to the journey and lessons.
A prayer for healing of Depression is what this movie evokes for me. A deep love for my young artist brothers and sisters who battle feelings and experiences of VOID and NULL… who want to FEEL, to experience PLEASURE, HAPPINESS, and CONNECTION. I appreciate their efforts and their artistic pieces which elucidate people’s internal struggles.
At the risk of over-simplification, I feel called to say that I believe much chemical-imbalance can be resolved with nutrition in a social context — seriously, I’ve watched it work so quickly, and I feel this is a very common imbalance in the modern world. THIS FILM SHINES A BRIGHT LIGHT ON OUR HUMAN NEED FOR COMMUNITY. In the absence of community, one yearns for and can better appreciate community. Humans. God made us — not just you, not just me… but US. We need to break bread together. Share. Delight. Experience art — music, literature, movies, dance, comedy, philosophy. So if you go see “HUMANO”, go with a friend, and chat about it over dinner afterward.