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Sacred Sex Cinema
Roll 'em - Movies that go with the flow of life

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Gary Joseph
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Sacred Sex Cinema    Posted: December 9, 2004 Reply with quote

Who says movies aren't educational? Razz

Movies are popular in cultures around the world for good reason: they have great power to engage the senses, intellect, and emotions in a way that is much like real life. Films that capture public attention and win praise often do so because they relate to challenges in our own lives, and/or inspire values we desire. Films that do this go beyond mere entertainment, serving the social purpose of bettering the lives of their viewers.

Below is a list of movies that depict teachings related to those on this site (though mostly general life principles, not sexual ones). Note that these films are not listed here based on their Academy Award merit, but rather on the message they portray. Therefore, while many of the films below are cinematically brilliant too, others may be only average. Note also that the themes discussed may go unnoticed by the common viewer. They may even be unintended by their screenwriters. They are presented here to offer an added perspective on the film, not contradict common ones.

Before getting to the list, it's useful to comment on the various film genres in general; doing so offers a guide to the many movies not listed here that nevertheless depict some of the teachings on this website. These main genres are:

Drama - Dramas typically portray a person's/family's/group's/nation's/etc. efforts to fulfill some desire. To the extent that those desires are true to the characters' hearts, the drama illustrates a central message of this website.

Action/Adventure - Action movies are similar to dramas as described above, except that they involve physical challenge and conflict. In such films, 'good guys' typically defend certain values against 'bad guys'. To the extent that those values are universal truths of life, they support the themes on this website. Having said this, there are significant caveats regarding the fight between 'good vs. evil' depicted in action films.

First, the good vs. evil struggle is a misconception of life. The true picture is that all of creation is good & desirable, just to varying degrees. For a full explanation of this, read the Myth of Evil and Desire as Value Forums.

Second, even when valuing life according to desirability, us vs. them tunnel vision often slips in, and we substitute personal values for universal ones. We think our way is more desirable than their way, rather than finding a new, higher way that's desirable for both. This view perpetuates conflict rather than resolving it, because for every 'us' who believes we are right and they are wrong, a 'them' believes the opposite, setting the stage for perpetual conflict.

Action films therefore should defend universal principles, inspiring warrior-types to be guardians of truth, not senseless killers.

Romance - These films portray the many dramas of finding, living in, and even ending love relationships. Lessons vary, including:

1. following your heart, not family, social, cultural, or religious pressures;

2. love conquers all in the face of challenge;

3. the magic of male/female union - how the universe often conspires to bring us together, keep us apart, and achieve things we never would alone;

4. soul mates - that perfect someone especially for you.

Comedy - These teach us not to take life too seriously...and often deeper lessons as well.

Historical/Biographical - True stories have even more power to inspire the themes of their respective genres.

With that background, below is a list of selected movies. It is by no means comprehensive; if you wish to suggest a film to add to the list, reply to this post. You may include your reason for adding it, or invite comment. (Note: Reviews are taken from memory, and so may contain storyline errors. If you find a significant factual error, post a reply.)

Idea Each movie links to a Forum discussing ideas related to that film.
Click on the title (at the review, not the master list below) to go to the related Forum.
[In most cases, movies linking to the same Forum are grouped. Forums will be completed as time permits; Intro summaries are now posted.

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Use the links below to navigate to a specific movie, or scroll down to read all reviews:
A
Alexander
Amistad
Anna & the King
At First Sight
B
Bagdad Cafe
Beautiful Dreamers
Being There
Bliss
Braveheart
Breathe ~ co-written by
SSS founder Gary Joseph

Bride of the Wind
Brother Sun, Sister Moon
C
Calendar Girls
Chocolat
City of Angels
Coal Miner's Daughter
(Loretta Lynn Story)

D
Dances With Wolves
Dangerous Beauty
Deja Vu
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
E
Erin Brockovich
Eyes Wide Shut
F
Field of Dreams

G
Gandhi
Green Mile
H
Horse Whisperer
I-J-K
I Am Sam
Iron Jawed Angels
Josephine Baker Story
Kinsey

L
Laurel Canyon
Legend of Bagger Vance
Lion King
M
Man Who Would Be King
Matrix
Meet Joe Black
Meet the Parents
Merlin
Messenger - Joan of Arc
Mists of Avalon
Moll Flanders
N-O
Nell
Never on Sunday

P-Q
People vs. Larry Flynt
Pink Panther (series)
Pleasantville
Pretty Woman
R
Rasputin
Remember the Titans
S
Scent of a Woman
Secretary
Serendipity
Shadrach
Sleepless In Seattle
Sliding Doors
Step Into Liquid

T
Take the Lead
Titanic
Trading Places
Truman Show
Two Family House
U-V-W
Vagina Monologues
What the Bleep Do We Know?
(user review)
Wizard of Oz
X-Y-Z

Yellow


Bliss (1997, Craig Sheffer & Sheryl Lee; not to be confused with 1985 film of same name) - One of the few films to directly portray sacred sex teachings, and while understandably not in-depth, does so successfully and accurately. The film even presents sacred sex's healing value, as the story centers around the sex therapy of a quirky newlywed wife. There is more to sacred sex than presented in this movie, but it is educational nonetheless, well filmed, and genuinely entertaining, even humorous. Bravo!

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Step Into Liquid - This celebration of surfing, which henceforth is the unofficial film of the Society for Sacred Sexuality, might as well be named 'Step Into Sex'. Conceived, filmed, carried out by, and starring surfers, this artful documentary presents in breathtaking visual form the essence of Sacred Sex Lesson 2 on this site.

As you watch, note how surfers ride the waves. They go with the flow, gliding along, letting the wave carry them. In fact, if you lock eyes on one, it's as though the surfer isn't moving or doing anything -- the wave moves around the surfer.

Surfers don't have to create energy & excitement - the wave provides everything - they're just along for the ride. Their main concern is balance - staying afloat - which they do by riding down on the face of the wave, not at the crest.

We could review all the points from Lesson 2, but rather than hearing from a sacred sex teacher, let's hear from the surfers themselves:

Film maker Dana Brown begins by putting it all in perspective: "Surfing is a 2,000 year-old pastime.... Still, it's all about the wave."

Three of his fellow surfers add their own impressions of the medium they play in:

"Waves are this kind of unifying force in the universe. There's light waves, sound waves; and ocean waves are the only form in which they're at kind of a human scale. They move at a speed about as fast as we run. They're in this beautiful medium, the ocean. All it takes is just one wave - not even that - one turn...just a moment; it keeps pulling you back to have another moment. And it never ends."

We suggest that your sexual wave is one other form that's on a human scale. wink Another describes what could easily be sacred sex surfers:

"It's a tribe of people around the world that feed off of that energy."

One female surfer captures the ethereal, sensuous quality of flowing with waves: "It's not part of this world. You're stepping into liquid. You're stepping off of concrete ground and into an element that is always changing & moving & surrounding you -- and it feels good."

Later, another surfer sums up our built-in wave fascination by noting that in no other sport do we simply gaze at the court or field, as we do watching waves roll in.

Surfers are equally effusive about their connection to the waves. One woman summarizes it thus: "It's a pleasure to go beyond one dimension...and being able to come into a rhythm with the ocean."

A male surfer agrees: "Wave riding is an inner desire that you have to...try to be in harmony with the sea in its most dynamic moment."

Another expands on the interrelationship: "The perfect wave isn't one thing; it's always changing, depending on the surfer and the situation. It's a choice; it's what you make of it."

Sounds like sacred sex.

As for a surfer's intent, one expressed it clearly: "The ultimate ride for a surfer is to get deep inside the breaking section of the wave, the deeper the better. This is called being locked in the tube or riding the barrel."

In sacred sex, we call being tucked in the womb of your sexual wave for an extended ride 'orgasmic ecstasy'.

If you get the DVD, be sure to catch the special features. Included in the quickie how-to-surf lesson is this tidbit, strikingly similar to your Lesson 1 & 2 homeplay: "Whether you're a beginner surfer or an expert, the first thing you do is you kinda' sit down for a minute and figure out what the conditions are.... It's always good to take a few minutes and just check out the situation." You'll also hear that the main feature of a surfer's stance is balance.

Your two surf teachers conclude by again paying homage to the wave, explaining the appeal of riding them. From her: "No wave is ever going to be the same...Every time you come to the beach, you never know what you're going to find...It's always a new experience and I think that's what keeps us into it, keeps us inspired, keeps us going."

Change 'beach' to 'bed' and you have the exact appeal of sacred sex. And from him: "You can literally surf the same spot every day your whole life and it's different every day. And it's different three times during the day; it's going to change with the tide and the wind. So it's always this incredible, natural, variable pleasure we get to go play in. That's just amazing." Yes, sacred sex is.

Perhaps the most insight comes from the anything-but-stereotypical 'Surfing Rabbi'. His comments, from behind a religious beard, echo the Forum Finding the Sacred in Sex: "It wasn't in a synagogue that I found spirituality. It was here in the ocean...to the point where I started a Surf 'n Soul magazine about how surfing and spirituality are very connected.... I guess the message here is God didn't just all of a sudden abandon you when you left the synagogue or church. He's really wherever you go. And this part of this body of water that we see out here reminds us of Him and allows us to reflect on the awesome might of His Creation."

Amen to surfing...and sacred sex. Angel Don't miss this film.

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Dangerous Beauty - Excellent film portraying the true life story of Veronica Franco, who lived in Venice in the late 1500's, and rose to be that city's most famous courtesan after an arranged marriage denied her the man she loved. In an age when women were treated as property and denied education, Ms. Franco grew to be one of the most influential citizens of her time.

The film is noteworthy here for two reasons. First, her training by her mother shows that, even in a time when sacred sex was not known, being a courtesan was about much more than common sex. Among other things, Ms. Franco studied and became an excellent poet. Second, her 'confession' before the Inquisition, when she was put on trial for her way of life, states the simple truth in the face of persecution: "You call God's greatest gift - ourselves - our yearning, our need to love -- you call it filth and sin and heresy."

Of course the movie also shows the rife hypocrisy of a society that does not honor desires of the heart. 'Respectable' citizens married for status, not love, then cheated on their spouses. Bishops on the Inquisition board were regular clients of Ms. Franco. These show that unless desires are integrated into social & religious values, we live them out secretly in ways that destroy the social fabric.

Beautifully filmed and highly recommended.

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Kinsey - If anyone of today's generation doesn't believe there is an underlying moralism around sexuality that we are only now waking up out of, then this film is a must-see. It must also be seen by anyone who doubts the life-damaging impact of that moralism. Further, this film should be viewed by anyone who questions the ridiculous stretches of logic moralists will go to, to justify their perverted judgments. And last, Kinsey should be seen to call attention to the hypocritical nature of moralists, who - as we witness in today's commonplace scandals - preach one thing while secretly doing another.

It's hard to imagine today how such an innocuous and scientifically accepted practice of interviewing subjects for a research study could have such bomb-dropping effect on society, but that was the case for Alfred Kinsey, a zoologist-turned-sex researcher in the 1940's & 50's, who conducted the largest sex survey in the U.S. ever recorded. What he discovered was either startling or not, depending on when you lived. Today, his findings regarding sexual desire & activity are obvious common knowledge. Yet in a day when repressive moralism forbade us to talk about it, the revelation that everyone had secret sex lives was indeed 'the bomb'.

Kinsey's research unmasks the dark secret of moralism: that it does not eliminate or 'save us' from sexual desire; it merely drives it underground and perverts it. Only a truly naive mind - or a sick one - can possibly say that the absurd misconceptions about sex expressed by many of Kinsey's uninformed subjects is healthier to life than open discussion and knowledge. Yet still today, moralists fight sex education, apparently believing that ignorance about unwanted pregnancy, abortion, and STD's will make them go away.

The sad part about it - aside from the negative and sometimes devastating effects of sexual moralism on so many lives, as brought out in the movie - is that Kinsey's own severely repressive upbringing and total absence of education in the subject led to mistakes in his methodologies, interpretations, and recommendations. These were, and no doubt will continue to be seized upon by moralists crying, "see what happens when you open the door to sex?!" This is like preaching for centuries that eating is a sinful indulgence of the senses, reducing society (including the moralists themselves) to feeding on God-knows-what in some secret hidden recess of their homes, then claiming 'I told you so' when one finally has the courage to bring his animal eating habits out of the dark.

Imagine for a moment if food were viewed with the same moral ignorance that sex is by some. After all, like sex, eating is a natural urge, it brings pleasure, and in its base value is for physical gratification.

If food were sin, we'd be admonished to eat just enough to sustain our bodies. Delicious food would be an unholy indulgence, and we could never eat purely for pleasure. When we do eat, we're told to do it without desire, and we have a guilty conscience. 'Casual eaters' are branded as having loose morals. Talking about food, sharing recipes, and the like, are social no-nos. 'Kitchen talk' about what you ate last night is out of the question. Nutrition courses and other teaching of healthy eating habits in schools are strictly forbidden. Anorexia & bulimia are rampant, but any talk of ways to prevent these, or milder FTD's (food transmitted disorders) such as gas, heartburn, etc., 'only encourages eating'. Abstinence remains the only sanctioned solution. Mastication and homotasteuality are sins, the former causing blindness, the latter FTD's. Leaders preach that we not give in to these pleasures of the flesh. The net result is a society with sick, perverted eating habits that drain public health & welfare, and leave festering subliminal urges that undermine every aspect of daily life.

As blunt, shocking, and offensive as that sounds, that is the unfortunate truth of our recent past and present sexuality. The value in stating it plainly, hopefully, is to wake society up to shed these stupid beliefs. False moralism - moralism that demonizes human nature rather than promoting the best in it - like the life-starved behavior it promotes, eats away at the very essence of human nature: that it is evolutionary. Without evolution, which is driven by desire, we have no means to grow even to that which moralists aim: the best. It is evolution, spurred by desire for more & more, better & better life, that leads ultimately to the highest human nature.

Consider food again, released from the above moral stigma. People at last eat openly. Doctors study the health effects of food. At first, most continue with the unhealthy eating out of habit & ignorance, but as medical studies come out and food specialists educate, the public turns to a healthier diet -- just as we see today. In time, delicious healthy cuisine becomes the norm. Food is celebrated as nourishment to the soul and a promoter of life. High-minded people even see it as sustenance for spiritual life -- eating becomes a sanctified act, a way of communion. All this on account of allowing our natural desire for the best of everything in life to run its course.

This same evolution of sexuality will naturally occur when society lifts the stigma attached to it. Already there are trained teachers promoting sacred sex. We have only to remove the barriers to their success.

Arrow Removing mental barriers (false moralism): the Declaration of Sexual Independence.

Arrow Removing legal barriers: read about legal sacred sex instruction by certified teachers.

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The Matrix - This sci-fi thriller is included here because its depiction of our human condition rings truer than you may think. As in the film, humanity is caught up in an illusory worldview everyone believes is real, upon which we base and live our lives. We believe ourselves to be free, though we are not; rather, we're like the automatons in the Matrix, enslaved to and dependent on those who control, benefit from, and promote the worldview. And like the movie, there are some who see through the facade, who work to free everyone from it. They are challenged by those who have a stake in the false worldview. There are even, as in the movie, those who sense they are enslaved, but are nevertheless comfortable in their familiar lives, and fight the change that would mean their own freedom.

A false worldview is similar to a dream: during the dream you are 100% convinced it is real. If someone in your dream says you're dreaming, you think the person is crazy. You may even fight if they try to wake you. Only when you really do wake up do you see that it was indeed a dream.

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The People vs. Larry Flynt - This film is noteworthy for addressing 1st Amendment freedoms under the U.S. Constitution. And though (to my recollection) it does not directly examine the motivating principles behind freedom of expression guarantees, any serious viewer of the movie must ultimately consider that. After all, the Supreme Court Justices faced exactly that in deciding this true-life case. It is an issue of broad, vital significance to all Americans (and by example to people & governments around the world).

What exactly is the motivation behind our 1st Amendment rights, as conceived by our founding fathers? And what bearing does that have on the Society for Sacred Sexuality's challenge to laws prohibiting sacred sex instruction by certified teachers for hire?

Our founding fathers and appropriate legislative bodies ratified this Amendment (and no doubt made it first among the Bill of Rights due to its primary importance) because they were certain of one ideal: that government cannot possibly comprehend and value the grand diversity of life that humanity can call upon to contribute to social progress, and therefore should not have power to limit the people's freedom to explore that diversity. Rather, our forefathers implicitly declared that every man & woman must be free to act on and promote what they value, allowing free market society to adopt those ideas that it too finds of use and value. Only then can America be assured of having every opportunity for progress made available to her.

The sole mitigating factor in such cases is clear evidence of social harm. Furthermore, because the Constitutional guarantee sides with free expression, the burden of proof to demonstrate social harm lies with those who would deny the fundamental freedom. Further still, even in cases where social harm may be widely accepted - as in the pornography case in this film - it must be weighed against individual freedoms. In the case presented in this film, that balance was weighed, and the Court ruled in favor of individual freedoms.

Sacred sex is clearly the very type of idea our 1st Amendment rights are designed to protect. It is a new idea that challenges preconceived ideas and current norms, whose value is little-known, and which is controversial to many. But among those who know it, its value is universally acknowledged, and potential benefit to society clear. Most significantly though, it falls in the category of being legislated by those who don't know it, and therefore cannot possibly attest to its value or lack thereof. Government that restricts freedoms such as this runs the grave risk of unknowingly quashing true opportunities for progress. Our 1st Amendment was specifically intended to protect against this.

Sacred sex is of great and positive value to all who know and practice it. Though general society may not currently appreciate this value, our Constitutional freedoms guarantee that it has opportunity to do so.

That is the significance of this film.

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Chocolat - If there is one movie that captures the essence of society's morality play without coming right out and saying it, this delightful could-be-true fantasy is it. The portrayal of chocolate as sin, and the way the town deals with temptation, are so perfect that you needn't even substitute sex for cocoa -- it's seductive qualities jump out of the film. Watch closely as the Count fights & denies his desire for the 'evil' he preaches against, and how, far from destroying him, it ultimately transforms him. The young priest's closing Easter sermon is the perfect topping to this delicious screen candy.

Watch the bonus materials if you get the DVD. You'll learn that, like sex, chocolate has a positive, healthy side too, yet we demonize it for one reason: it gives pleasure. Chocolate, sex, and everything in creation are gifts of God. Should we scorn the gift because it's pleasing? This movie is a must-see.

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Pleasantville - This brilliant film achieves through visual symbolism what Chocolat does through direct dialog and scripting. It uses color to depict love, passion, and desire for life, showing the sterile lifelessness without it in black & white. The transformation to technicolor that accompanies the awakening of values is exquisite. This highly recommended film shows both individual & social struggles with these issues. Note how, as in Chocolat, everyone's fear of desire proves to be completely unfounded in the end.

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Eyes Wide Shut - This is a brilliantly provocative film about the secret acting out of sexual desires in a society that does not have positive avenues for it. Is this really preferable to dealing with sexuality openly and consciously? Sex is here to stay; we can either repress it and relegate it to social filth, or we can elevate it to spiritual practice -- take your pick.

One can only wonder what the world would be like if we replaced the orgiastic rituals portrayed in this film with sacred sex ones, thereby raising sex from a dark act to be carried out in secret behind masks, to one worthy of God in the light of day. It shows, if one looks deeply, that when society represses it natural sexuality, we in fact wear masks constantly, hiding our true desires behind made-up faces of social correctness and self-righteous morality.

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Rasputin (HBO) - This is a fascinating true-life account of one of the most misunderstood men of the 20th century. Though not well known in the West today, this Siberian-born healer/mystic/hedonist is seen by some as a dark figure contributing to the overthrow of czarist rule in Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution.

While moralists may use his life as an example to show why not to indulge in desire, Rasputin was in fact simply rebelling against the false morality and social facades of his time. And while most Christians will not like the comparison, other seers and enlightened ones such as Christ had a similar streak. Christ too flouted the customs of His time, breaking Sabbath laws and preferring company of the prostitute Magdalene to religionists, whom He called hypocrites. Sages do this not out of disdain for society, tradition, values, etc., but because society creates false versions of morality that deny the heart & soul. Then its codes & customs become a burden rather than a vehicle for growth. Man winds up serving the Sabbath, rather than the Sabbath serving man. When this occurs, awakened souls who see through these false facades break our attachment to them by flouting them, showing that spirituality is beyond them. Truth is in the heart, soul, and enligthened awareness, not temples, bibles, and puritanical social mores.

When society evolves constructive ways to satisfy desire that bring out the best in man, antisocial rebellion vanishes, whether by enlightened sages or average disgruntled citizens who also sense its falsity. For example, sacred sex practice will reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual harassment, rape, prostitution, pornography, and other sexually related antisocial behavior by providing a positive outlet for sexual desire.

For his part, Rasputin was likely unaware of this bigger picture explaining what drove his social disdain. Rather, he was simply following the habits of his roguish upbringing, to which he brought his enlightened views. Thus he indulged in the only outlets available for his accustomed desires in that day.

Of course Christ offered a new set of values to replace the existing ones of the time, an historical role that dwarfs His minor rebelliousness. Rasputin had a lesser and much simpler life-purpose. He was born in a rough village and raised on drinking & women, so those were his 'customs'. Still, no one can doubt his mystic abilities, including healings guided by visions of the Virgin Mary. Yet even this caused Rasputin trouble, for religious leaders of his day couldn't accept that his was an inner vision, not some flesh & blood revelation or resurrection.

As for his role in the overthrow of Czarist Russia, that nation was in a time of great transition due to many social forces. That nature used Rasputin as a catalyst for change only shows how the universe places such souls in pivotal positions to facilitate social change. For that, Rasputin should be honored, not loathed.

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Pretty Woman - A charming, feel-good love story about a streetwalker trying to get by, seeking dignity & respect, and ultimately searching for love. While an admittedly glossed-over view of life on the streets, it reminds us of the human face on those society is often quick to judge, and that in the end, we all want the same thing -- happiness & fulfillment. It suggests that instead of judging & condemning ourselves for the ways we strive to get there, we ought join together and help each other toward it.

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Brother Sun, Sister Moon - This account of the life of St. Francis of Assisi is a beautiful example of the universality of spiritual experience, despite even widely divergent paths to and expressions of it. Unfortunately, like many in his own time - including religious leaders who called him mad & a heretic - people today misunderstand that experience, even using it to preach misguided lessons to others.

St. Francis did not turn away from pleasures of the senses. Rather, he saw God through the senses -- in all creation: the birds, butterflies, flowers, sky, sun & moon, even rocks of the earth. He gave up what he did not because it was sinful, but simply because he didn't need it for his happiness, having found that in God. Not needing lets us enjoy what is naturally desirable and useful to one's life purpose, without cluttering life with things that don't serve us.

At one point Francis gave up his clothes, yet later wore what was useful to keeping his body warm. He gave up his family's wealth & profession, but took up his own as a church builder. The 'possessions' he accumulated - his clothes, his holy work, his companions along the way, etc. - were those that, for him, glorified God.

Even 'useless' desires were not given up. Francis loved to commune with nature, talking to God through the animals & trees. In the same way, anything in God's Creation can be used to commune with and glorify God, and taken on as a 'possession' if so desired. For Francis it was the birds & the butterflies; for most of us, the birds & the bees are a passionate desire through which we may choose to commune.

Francis himself (assuming the movie is accurate) was clear that we can live spiritual lives in the context of worldly sexual desires: "We're not a regiment of priests for whom the sacred vow of chastity is a discipline. We're just a band of men who simply love God, each according to his own capacity. But if [one] finds the lack of a woman distraction from loving God, then he should marry and breed to his heart's content." The message is clear: when natural desire exists, denying & repressing the desire distracts one from God -- from exploring the desire fully and finding God in it.

Contrast Francis's persona - or for that matter, Christ's - with that of moralist religious leaders of today. Nowhere in his personality is the slightest hint of judgment & condemnation. Watching the film, can you imagine St. Francis railing against abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, etc.? No, he was too busy enjoying & expressing his love of God, and leaving others in peace to do so in their own way. He (presumably) lived a celibate life, but did he scorn women? No, as seen in his relationship with Claire, he loved and honored them as his own sisters.

The only ones Francis even remotely scorned, like Christ, were the hypocritical religious leaders of the day, who measured spirituality by exterior dos & don'ts rather than one's inner heart.

To listen to the many absolute Church pronouncements on pre-marital sex, masturbation, the issues mentioned above, and numerous others, one would think God Himself was here saying, "Do this! Don't do that!" We have only to look to the many times throughout history that the Church has changed its position to see that these are not Divine Truths, but rather judgments of the mind of man.

Isn't something amiss when a now acknowledged saint goes to the Vatican, as Francis did, and admonishes the church hierarchy over its values? It's fine to admit that Church leaders, including the Pope, are only human and therefore fallible, but then should they be preaching their values to followers as Gospel?

And why does the Church feel so threatened by it's own later acknowledged saints? At one point in the film, a local Bishop says to Francis, "Is this some plot to rob the Church of its authority?" Perhaps the Church has forgotten that its authority - if it has any at all - lies in being a go-between, a medium, for aiding followers in communing with God & Christ. Certainly it is not to set its own moral code and mete out justice as though it IS God.

Spiritual life is not about following rules & dogma; it's about a direct inner communion in the heart. If the Church spent more of its resources helping followers gain true God/Christ realization, so that they know for themselves what God wants of them rather than relying on others who reduce it to petty shoulds & shouldn'ts, Christianity today would be on much stronger ground, and much closer to Christ.

To his credit, Pope Innocent III, who received Francis at the Vatican, surprised other Church leaders by acknowledging Francis's words with ones that would well serve the Church today: "In our obsession with Original Sin, we too often forget Original Innocence."

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The Lion King - This animated children's classic exactly portrays the natural life principles on which sacred sex is based, without any reference to sexuality. Simba's father teaches him that everything has a natural place in life's inter-related whole. When creatures follow their nature, life remains in harmonious balance. This explains why we should honor our own human nature, including natural desires. This 'Circle of Life' - as it's called in this movie and by sacred sex practitioners as well - is a beautiful and important lesson for children of all ages. This film is highly recommended.

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The Messenger - the Story of Joan of Arc - Joan of Arc's life is the all-too-common tale of living saints that cannot be fathomed by the so-called religious 'leaders' who are always quick to judge, persecute, and condemn them. From seers of old, such as Christ, to evolved souls of later times - St. Francis, Bernadette of Lourdes, Meister Eckhart, Mary Baker Eddy, Rasputin - to modern-day saints & seers like Osho, Krishnamurti, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, we have at best ignored or misunderstood them, mostly scoffed at & refuted them, and at worst, persecuted & crucified them, or in the case of Joan of Arc, burned them at the stake.

Our repeated response to such people begs the question 'why'? If they indeed speak heresy & blasphemy, or are fanatics, insane, & hallucinatory, why do we later make them saints? Or, in the case of Christ, why do we deify Him after crucifying Him?

We can learn one thing at least that would serve us in future encounters with such people: that their mind-set is vastly different than our own - even our pre-conceived ideas of spirituality - and therefore we should be slower to judge and more open to their new ideas. Better yet, we should question the religious conceptions that would crucify a Christ, call a seer a heretic, or burn a saint at the stake.

Whether the life details of this French heroine are accurately presented here (she is portrayed differently in another film, titled simply Joan of Arc, and her unstable tendencies here are no doubt largely a product of the writer/director's own mind; still, this version is more passionate & satisfying), her story teaches many lessons.

First, there is the undying courage & fearlessness one finds in following the truth in their heart, and what that can achieve. There is also the innocent - many would say naive - way such people pursue their desires, especially if they happen to be in an area outside their worldly skill, training, or accepted place, as were Joan's. Then there is the miraculous way the universe comes forward to support that achievement, offering objective validation that a higher purpose is being served. On top of all this, there is the compelling fact that this is the story of a woman in a warrior role, showing that there is indeed no limit to what we can achieve, nor the way nature may use us to further the Universal Plan.

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The Legend of Bagger Vance - Highly entertaining and insightful portrayal of the simple wisdom that comes from living in the heart. Will Smith brilliantly captures the innocent, homespun, carefree nature of such a life, while off-handedly stripping away Damon's self-imposed, limiting facades, and reminding him to come back to what he wants in his life. If you want to see a film that shows in a simple way (and without sexual context) how enlightened people act, this is your movie. Learn from Bagger. Especially recommended for guys who use their past as an excuse to keep themselves down. What do you want?

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Being There - This comical Peter Sellers farce teaches two meaningful lessons. One, that truth is truth, whether from the mouth of the most erudite scholar or a clueless simpleton -- they simply express it in different ways. The perception of life as a garden - because that's what Sellers was, a simple gardener - bears resemblance to the words of enlightened sages throughout the ages. And who better to fall for him than the real-life mystical-minded Shirley McLaine?! Second, the film shows that there is a grand design to life, an enlightened state to which we are evolving, and that we are the instruments - often even, as in this film, unknowingly - that bring it about. Even Sellers's character name - Chance (pronounced Chauncey) - is a play on words of the theme expressed in the film title. In the film, as in the real world, this universal plan plays itself out on the movie screen of life through our natural desires. All we need do is follow them, and Be There. A brilliant film.

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The Wizard of Oz - If there's one tiny drawback to this classic film masterpiece, it's that the mystique surrounding it, coupled with its magnificent visual splendor and the fact that we've all seen it time & time again, overshadow the simple understated truth we're ultimately brought to at the end. When Dorothy, after her long journey & many adventures trying to get back to Kansas, finally exhausts all hope of outside assistance in her quest, Glenda the Good Witch draws out from Dorothy the lesson she has learned: "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with." With her re-claimed sense of self, Dorothy clicks her heels...and the rest is cinematic history.

The lesson here for us: in the midst of our own many adventures & long life journey, remember that our heart's desire is in our own backyard -- within. Truly, there's no place like home.

This film, along with The Lion King, should be on every child's learning list.

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The Josephine Baker Story - This film is noteworthy for the life-story of its title subject, a woman largely unknown to the current generation. Ms. Baker grew up as a poor but talented African-American entertainer in St. Louis in the early 1900's. Faced with racism at home, she went to France, where she reluctantly accepted an exotic dance role, discovered her sexual freedom, and became the toast of Europe and the richest black woman of her time. She returned to America, only to encounter the same prejudice she grew up with, and later devoted her life to promoting peace & harmony between races & cultures.

Her story is significant for several reasons. On a personal level, it shows how we achieve success by following the desires of our heart, regardless of social stigmas and conceptions that challenge us. On a sexual level, it shows how we repress our own desires. Josephine was at first insulted at the role she was asked to perform, and only accepted out of financial need. But she quickly discovered she relished the role, and took the part to new heights.

On a social level, the film is also significant. It shows, contrary to what many preach in society today, that sexual freedom is not a sign of, nor does it lead to individual or social depravity. Not only was Ms. Baker's personal life upstanding, but she even advocated positive social values and reform. In fact, it was following her desires innocently and openly that filled her heart with passionate love for life, which she sought to share with and teach to others. In that, Josephine Baker is a role model to others.

The movie also shows how all of today's animosity between races, religions, and cultures is socially programmed, and not natural. Ms. Baker raised a dozen adopted children from around the world, whom she called her 'Rainbow Tribe', and who offer a vision of what our larger global family can be.



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Field of Dreams - This heart-warming fantasy tale teaches more than to follow your dreams. It shows that often, we can't even fathom the purpose of our desire -- only that we know we want it. Yet nature has a reason for everything, and "if you build it, they will come". Follow your desire - build it into reality - and its purpose will make itself known.

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Titanic - This Academy Award winning film is noteworthy here for Rose's courage to follow her heart in love, despite family, financial, and social pressures to marry another. It also shows how the universe responds to such action -- by rewarding it: Rose, alone in a new land after the disaster, discovers the blue diamond in her coat.

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Erin Brockovich - This true-life David (or Erin) vs. Goliath story proves the principle that following your heart and believing in what you do is more important than training, skills, education, or experience. Erin's no-b.s. way of tackling any challenge thrown at her shows the ability of a clear heart to cut through the clouded or deceitful perceptions of others.

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Coal Miner's Daughter - This inspiring story of Loretta Lynn's rise as a country singer shows how we have everything we need within us to fulfill our life purpose. With no musical background, training, or experience, she taught herself to play the guitar her husband gave her as a gift, and became a star. The restroom scene at the tavern (her first performance) where her husband confronts her fear of playing before an audience is a useful lesson for all -- act for yourself, not an audience.

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The Man Who Would Be King - This amusing Kipling tale shows how the universe responds to human desire -- it becomes reality. This is true for individual life, as seen here for the would-be king, and also for society, as seen for all those who believed in him. As this is our fate regardless of desire, whether true or false, life-supporting or life-damaging, it is a wake-up call to examine desire consciously and build our lives around its highest values. If we ignore aspects of it, especially a most fundamental and powerful one such as sexuality, we build our lives around false & reactionary substitutes that undermine life. Rather, we should acknowledge such desires, and evolve socially constructive expressions for them.

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Scent of a Woman - Al Pacino's character role is included here because he shows, despite his brash & abrasive behavior, an authentic integrity in his simple, albeit blunt nature, that ultimately shows through in his laudable act at the end. It reminds us again, not to judge a book by its cover.

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Pink Panther series - These hilarious spoofs show that ultimately, it's not intelligence, wit, savvy, or well-honed skill that achieves desires, but rather desire itself. Certainly all those attributes and more provide means and simplify the task, but the driving force behind them is desire, and even in their absence, it finds a way. In the end, the bungling Clouseau always gets his man...or woman. "Deuhz yeuhr deuhg bieht?"

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Sliding Doors - Delightful film that poignantly shows how every choice we make - for better or worse - impacts our destiny. Choose consciously and wisely.

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The Truman Show - This quaint little flick shows how we can be trapped in a limited world we see as real, simply because we don't know any better...and how it ultimately proves unsatisfying - even if it's neat & tidy - once we learn there's more.

Hmmm...sounds like life without sacred sex. wink

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Meet Joe Black - Intriguing film that portrays 'death' more accurately than you think -- if you're only conscious enough to see it coming. Just as you now typically project where you'll be in 3-6 months based on the direction your life is heading, so do fully conscious people have a clear sense of when their time is coming. And they deal with it much the same way as Anthony Hopkins does here -- matter-of-factly and acceptingly. This enlightened view of death not only affords inner peace, but also allows for appropriate outward response as well, as Hopkins shows in tending to the practical tasks of completing unfinished life business. The movie includes the interesting sub-plot of his daughter's growing love for 'death' (Brad Pitt), though her time is not up.

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Nell - Nell is the compelling, if somewhat disturbing, story of a young girl raised in isolation by her mother, whose communication was hindered and speech slurred by a stroke. Nell, with no other language reference in her life, learned to communicate and speak her mother's way.

This film strikingly shows how we are imprinted and conditioned by our upbringing as children, including the value system we receive. We pass along our fears, inhibitions, and weaknesses to each oncoming generation, short-changing their capacity to face & meet challenges with vision & courage. In a positive light, it inspires us that with conscious parenting & education, we can raise future generations on enlightened values that grow to be new social norms as our children grow.

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At First Sight - This remarkable film about a man blind from birth who undergoes experimental eye surgery to restore his sight - and the challenges he faces upon seeing for the first time - shows how a perfectly natural & normal perception (eyesight) becomes strange & even frightening when we're accustomed to life without it. (Deaf people are known to face similar challenges after hearing restoration.)

This film gives insight into why the perfectly natural & normal experience of enlightenment - and the judgment-free way awakened people live - is so strange & threatening to some, simply because they don't know it. In watching the film, imagine that everyone is blind like Val Kilmer's character, that all of society for countless generations has been built around this blindness, and that it is simply accepted as the norm for life. Then imagine one or a few people telling the rest that it's possible to see ("like God", no less), describing their vision, and claiming to be able to restore their sight. Such people would no doubt be branded as lunatics and deemed a threat to society, just as saints & seers are in our real world.

This film is - literally - an eye-opener. Shock

On top of that, it's a charming, well-done love story.

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The Green Mile - A powerful, gripping film that once again shows that enlightenment comes in any package, and is expressed in any way -- yet always as the simple desire of the enlightened one. Michael Clarke Duncan is magnificent in his role of a man who is so simple in following his heart that he is oblivious to the misconstrued justice being administered to him. To anyone and anything he meets, even the film's antagonists, he desires to help and heal. A very moving drama that reminds us to look beyond surface qualities of race, gender, age, culture, religion, intelligence, etc., and see the quality of the heart within.

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The Horse Whisperer - This insightful movie shows that when we act in harmony with nature, as opposed to beating it into submission, nature works with us to fulfill our desires. In this partnership, wonders far greater than mankind can currently conceive of are possible. As it is, the movie shows the healing effect such action can have on the many people involved.

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Calendar Girls - Delightful true story of a group of English women who refused to let age and public perception stop them from seeing themselves as beautiful, sensual women. Teaches that every life-stage is to be cherished and honored.

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Bride of the Wind - Fair to decent film about the intriguing life of Alma Schindler who, in turn-of-the-century Vienna had the unusual fortune to marry - and act as muse for - several prominent & creative men. Though she didn't directly co-create success with her partners, the fact that one woman could have this same effect on several different men shows that we each carry a certain quality with us, and that when two come together in love with complementary qualities, they can achieve more than the sum of the two individually.

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Serendipity - This pleasant chick flick is included here for its look at fated love. There is much truth in the way this film presents it, from their meeting, to the 'don't tempt fate' lesson that separates them, to their parallel separate lives, and finally to the way desire weaves events to bring them back together again. This type of love can play itself out many ways in real life; this movie shows but one of them.

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Deja Vu (1997 - Victoria Foyt, Stephen Dillane) - This average film nevertheless offers a likable, if too tidy, portrayal of fated love, and how it works itself out in life.

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Sleepless in Seattle - Another heart-warming movie that explores the idea of soul mates and fated love.

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Dances with Wolves - A powerful, moving film that shows how we get along when we acknowledge, accept, and honor our cultural differences in the spirit of global humanity.

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Remember the Titans - This excellent film shows how beliefs & stereotypes are transformed into true understanding and friendship by recognizing that our commonality as human beings runs deeper than surface traits. It serves as a contemporary model for bringing people of all ethnicities together.

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Anna & the King - This breathtakingly beautiful film highlights the stupidity of imperialist & colonial rule, and hints at the change we can effect when cultures accept, seek to learn about each other, and work together for mutual benefit.

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Braveheart - This based-on-fact story is a powerful and moving portrayal of principled courage. Sandwiching the fight for freedom are lessons at the beginning - that true warriors don't seek battle, but are drawn into it - and end - that they are ready to give their lives for a true cause.

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Gandhi - This film is included here for the obvious reason of Gandhi's greatness as a man who restored sovereignty to the world's second most populous nation. Gandhi's efforts for peace both with the British, and between Hindus and Muslims are equally laudable, as was his voice for women's and caste rights. Still, the film gives us an opportunity to look at Gandhi's teachings and see if there are not even better ways to facilitate social change.

First, with respect to the doctrine of passive resistance, while certainly preferable to the violent form, it is resistance nevertheless, and there is a more positive way to bring about social reform. That way is to simply do what is true, without regard for the false establishment, growing in strength until truth becomes the norm. In India's case, rather than peaceful strikes, silent protests, and negotiating with the British for sovereignty, Gandhi and his movement could simply & rightfully have assumed sovereignty, ignoring the British presence. The fact is that it was India's country all along; for India to request British transfer of power is ludicrous -- like asking a thief who has commandeered your home if you can have it back. Colonial powers have no business in other nations in the first place. Gandhi's movement should have called elections, selected leaders, enacted laws, and began following them as a people, paying no heed to colonial law.

While clearly, such a line of action would still have resulted in a clash with the British, in this case the tables would be turned. The British would be the position of resisting the Indians going about their rightful business. This British position is much less defensible, and shifts many tangible & intangible forces against the resisters, not the least of which is public, including world, opinion. In the end, India would have achieved its aims faster & more effectively by these means.

To apply these ideas to the American civil rights movement, which drew on similar methods, the actions of Rosa Parks - who simply exercised her right to sit where she chose on the bus - and other blacks who attended white schools, used white restrooms, and requested service in coffee shops, etc., more successfully promoted their cause than peaceful strikes and protests. The former actions put whites in the position of resisting innocent acts, a difficult stand to defend, and which showed racial discrimination in a much harsher light as it played out on TV screens across the nation. Resistance - even when peaceful by an oppressed people - still casts them as instigators and antagonists (even if unfairly), and sours the public view of their just cause.

One only wonders what the state of peace in the Middle East would be today if the Palestinians, rather than breeding a culture of violence in response to Israeli oppression, would simply declare statehood and set up the institutions of a peaceful society, including a thriving local economy. This would show Israel (and the world) that they really do WANT peaceful co-existence, rather than the violence it appears they want now. And it would certainly make it difficult for Israel to justify denying them statehood, as opposed to the legitimate security concerns they have due to current Palestinian actions. No one suggests this as an overnight solution (there are none), but it certainly is the fastest way to true and lasting peace -- and most certainly preferable to suicide bombings.

Gandhi also made laudable efforts on behalf of India's lower castes. However, the idea to abolish the caste system completely is open to question. While it is clear that people of all castes must have basic rights and be treated with dignity and respect, dissolving this ancient system of social order is not necessarily in India's best interests.

The caste system exists to promote maximum progress for all castes in each coming generation. Individuals enjoy maximum success, and society prospers in rapid growth. The passing down of family profession to offspring occurs by several obvious mechanisms, plus one that is lesser known. Clearly, genes and parental guidance & mentoring from a young age, followed by formal education, provide a significant head start in life vs. taking off in a new direction armed only with a college degree. On top of that, handing over family businesses that have been around for generations not only provides offspring with significant financial advantages, it gives them instant name recognition and reputation, and society gets product & service providers with established trust.

Beyond these though, is a lesser known mechanism that answers the question, 'what about children who don't want to follow in their parents' footsteps?' While this is indeed a valid concern in the West, where no such social order exists, in many eastern cultures like India where the caste system is honored, souls are born by their karma into families that allow them to pursue their natural desires. Thus, the child of a farmer wants to be a farmer, etc. Unfortunately, this subtle mechanism of nature breaks down when society stops honoring the social structure, leading to families with splintered professional desires. This is harmful to the social order, prosperity, and general welfare of the nation.

India's caste system has become a burden to many not due to inherent flaws or discrimination, but rather because India has lost her ancient ways by which members of every caste achieved their spiritual aims. Without this, people become discontented with their lot in life, and blame what they see as a major controller of that -- the caste system.

Still, these views do not diminish Gandhi's achievements. His crusade for Indian sovereignty & basic human rights was a true one, and bound to succeed by any method.

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Alexander - This movie is included only because it shows how values shape perception. Alexander the 'Great' was so-named because he is perhaps the most successful military conqueror ever known. Yet is this really an attribute we would call 'great'? Men who attempt such things today are termed ruthless dictators, despots, and barbarians. Did Alexander bring any special quality of life to his kingdom, or did he simply slaughter anyone who stood in his way? Some may argue that despite his methods he merits the title 'Great' because of his influence. Should we then bestow the moniker on Hitler and Stalin? And in terms of influence, many have shown that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword -- should we not call Aristotle (Alexander's own teacher, from whom he apparently learned little) 'the Great'? Thomas Jefferson - whose declaration of freedom & independence is now a model for people the world over - the Great? Contrast Alexander with another in history given that title - Peter the Great - who, despite sometimes strong-arm methods, at least had a great vision for Russia that carried that nation into the modern era. The point here is that we should honor values we desire, not simply achievements vast in scale.

That said, it is also evident that Alexander was a man of destiny, meaning that nature had purpose in bringing him into the world. As nature's purpose is always evolution, we should look to find what his contributing role in history was. Perhaps it was the bridging of East & West cultures across his vast empire, which sped the growth of civilization. In that context, we can accept his militaristic means as the accepted mode of conquest at the time, and give him his historical due. Perhaps we should rename him 'Alexander the Conqueror'.

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - This delightful yarn is included here for the simple and personal way it portrays ritual. We tend to think of true rituals as only those that we see in churches, temples, secret societies, etc., that are handed down from on high. They often begin though, as portrayed here: simple symbolic gestures that bind people together around shared interest & desire, and which, if lasting in their value, are passed down through the generations, added to and formalized, coming down to us as tradition.

This view empowers us to update, as appropriate, old rituals for which we see new significance, or replace outmoded ones with new rites that capture the deeper essence of our more enlightened vision.

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Beautiful Dreamers - This film about the life of Walt Whitman is perhaps more intriguing for its insights into how we view sexuality - specifically female sexuality - than it is for its somewhat muted portrayal of Whitman's brilliance itself. If these 19th century views of female sexual desire - which landed women in insane asylums and made them subjects of experimental surgeries - weren't sadly true, they would be laughable for their sheer idiocy. Yet at the time, they were seen as modern medical diagnoses & treatments (Whitman challenged these views). These, and countless other out-dated medical ideas, educational philosophies, moral codes, and the like, serve to remind today's scholarly experts that their own polished views may be seriously flawed, and to remain open to new ideas.

One wonders how laughable 20th century sexual views will appear to 21st century sacred sex practitioners. Hardy-har

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Merlin (HBO) - Though most today consider the legend of King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table a myth, this extremely well done and entertaining mini-series for children of all ages (despite some violent content) gives glimpses of human powers that ARE truly attainable when we awaken to our full potential. Does the Arthurian legend refer to a time when society at large knew of such powers? Regardless, this show's most insightful lesson may be in how they're lost: when Merlin and the rest turn their backs on Maab, saying simply that they'll forget her & her ways, he describes the mechanism by which we truly do lose our power and potential: we forget we have it and lose ourselves, becoming distracted & absorbed in lesser things.

Highly recommended, especially for school-age children (despite some violent content).

Compare to Mists of Avalon:

The Mists of Avalon - This interpretation of the Arthurian legend well portrays a society that honored and revered the Goddess. It may not be possible to verify the historical accuracy of this version (or any of King Arthur's life), but the values of sisterhood, inner knowing, and service to life are true to the nature of goddess societies. Mists of Avalon also portrays the 'old ways' in a more positive light than does the Merlin version (see above). Well acted, beautifully filmed, and highly recommended.

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Red

Here is one final movie that teaches about sacred sex:


Breathe (by Gary Joseph & Mea Lama) - Plot Summary: India's most famous actress learns sacred sex at a Hawaiian Retreat, then must choose between her domineering husband and the sensuous life of a temple goddess.

This script, co-written by the Society for Sacred Sexuality's founder, won honorable mention in several screenwriting contests, including a quarterfinal award by Square One Magazine, 2001. It is waiting for a brilliant visionary producer to make it a reality.

Film industry inquiries only: email Gary Joseph.

Niiice! See you on the Silver Screen. Niiice!

_________________
Sexual union is a mirror of Spiritual Union, and a gateway to direct experience of it.
Gary Joseph
SSS Founder


Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 863
Location: SSS Home

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Movie Extras    Posted: December 28, 2004 Reply with quote

Here are more movie recommendations. This list will be expanded as new movies are reviewed.

Click on the movie title for related Forum Topics on this website.


Moll Flanders - This intriguing story about the life of an outcast woman in 17th(?) century England who, despite little opportunity, envisions a better life for herself and finds the love, dignity, and sense of self-worth she is looking for. With no familial support system to aid her, she learns the lessons of life on her own, even evolving to a very high understanding and experience of sacred sex in the context of deep love for her husband. The fruit of that marriage - a young daughter - becomes the center around which the well thought out plot revolves. Excellent acting, and realistic dialog, costumes, and scenery make for a very entertaining film.

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I am Sam - Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, and little Dakota Fanning give stellar performances in this insightful and moving drama portraying parental values and the needs of children in the context of a custody battle between a loving, but mentally challenged father, and the state child services system. In doing so, it crystallizes a conflict prominent not only in childcare circles, but also in society as a whole -- the division of heart and mind. Sam, the father, has a beautiful parental heart, but it is not enough for the educationally minded state.

The sad thing about this dispute - one that plays out too often in our real life court system - is that this division of heart & mind is so entrenched in our adult thinking that we miss the simple and obvious truth: there is no conflict; heart & mind are both needed for life to be whole. That emotional development is as vital as mental is plainly seen in the child of Sam's stressed & frazzled attorney. About the same age as Sam's daughter (seven), he has every conceivable 'advantage' in life that the state would seek to provide the girl -- except love. Yet in contrast to Sam's happy, mature, and inquisitive daughter, he is moody, antisocial, and disinterested in learning.

The love bond between parent & child is nearly impossible to re-create outside the natural familial ties. Therefore, unless specific circumstances have already compromised it, or the parent is a clear unfit role model, it should remain intact. Since only Sam could give his daughter the love she desired, the solution was for the state to simply assist him in providing the mental development the child needed. Rather than wresting her away to a mentally stimulating, yet loveless environment (in the child's view), they could have helped bring that to where she was. Since the heart requires constancy to feel loved while the mind needs only periodic stimulation to grow, Sam should have custody and a tutor have 'visitation rights' (daily visits), rather than a foster parent's constant life-tutoring presence speckled with only periodic visits of love. Rather than dividing families, the state should strengthen them.

The idea that children cannot learn & grow in special environments is not true. The world is full of examples of people who have thrived in spite of - often strengthened by - childhood challenges, just as it is with those who have squandered seemingly endless opportunity. More often than not, a child will be what she or he is destined to be, regardless of circumstance. This isn't to say that every opportunity should not be provided, because clearly it should, but emotional opportunity is as important as any other.

The even larger question brought out by this film is why we have this vacuous division of heart and mind in the first place. What is it that we pass on to our children that they in turn grow up and pass on to theirs? We are blessed with both heart and mind -- why are they at odds? The answer gets back to a basic idea of this website: that of honoring and following desires of the heart, rather than ignoring, denying, judging, and suppressing them. Honoring desire leads to a fulfilled heart, a contented & peaceful mind, and an intellect that appreciates the harmony between the two. Suppressing it quashes the heart, frustrates the mind, and fuels an intellect continually warring to keep desire down -- a conflict played out on numerous battlefields of life. This heart vs. mind war is at the root of every us vs. them conflict in life.

In this film, it plays out in the state's attitude toward Sam: he wasn't good enough, but instead of helping him be better, the state fought him. Rather than adding a mental component to Sam's emotional one, the state saw us vs. them and went to war. Both Sam and a foster parent had something to offer the child. Why could she not have both?

Life is holistic. Sacred sex, by honoring one of life's most basic and powerful desires, and directing it to a wholly fulfilling end, directly heals the division of heart and mind.

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Never on Sunday - This 60's film is lacking by today's cinematic standards, but nevertheless portrays themes strikingly relevant to this website. It centers on the life of Ilia, a Greek prostitute, who is happy and content with her life until an American 'philosopher', who has come to Greece in search of meaning, tries to reform her. Homer, who is clearly not as happy as Ilia, nevertheless feels it's his duty to 'save' her. He convinces her to strive for a life of knowledge and virtue, and to abandon her heart, citing the Greek philosophers of her country.

Though the script unravels a bit at the end as Homer's motivations get mixed up with another's, it shows that values devoid of the heart are false, as Ilia, miserable in her 'life of virtue', in the end returns to her happy desire. Homer, at the same time, is exposed for his desire from start to sleep with the prostitute Ilia.

The film brings to mind pictures of real life 'Homers', religionists & moralists who preach the sins of sex, all the while lusting after it in their hearts, or worse, secretly acting it out, often at the expense of victims under their tutelage.

This is in no way meant to condemn virtue and condone common prostitution. It only points out that true virtue includes desires of the heart, rather than subjugating them. As for Ilia's sex profession, had she known and shared sacred sex with her clients, she could have satisfied her desire AND lived a more virtuous life.

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Two Family House - This is a great little story with the simple message -- follow your dreams. Running parallel with that theme is the lesson of how we form attachments in life to people/things that don't serve us (i.e. contribute to our growth & happiness), and how, in the course of pursuing what we want, come to see what is really life-promoting, and are faced with the choice of clinging to the negative past or stepping into a positive future. The film is also about letting go of prejudices and stereotypes, and realizing that we all want the same things in life -- happiness, love, and to follow our dreams. In that vein, two people from very different 'sides of the track' come together to pursue that life. Told in a simple, straightforward way, this movie portrays fundamental life principles in the context of working class society.

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Laurel Canyon - This is an excellent contemporary drama that addresses the conflict of head vs. heart (what we want vs. what we think we 'should' do). At one point, when Alex says she doesn't know what she likes, Sam's mother simply replies, "Either it pulls you in or it leaves you cold." Easy to relate to with an edgy feel, well acted, with natural dialog. Sara's message about the heart at the end is perfect.

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Meet the Parents - This zany comedy of errors shows once again that following the heart - especially when it comes to love - conquers the most challenging obstacles...even Robert DeNiro. Hardy-har

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Trading Places - This classic Eddie Murphy/Dan Ackroyd flick makes it comically clear that how we view others and ourselves shapes the reality of who we are. It also shows how social conditioning leads to self-perpetuating stereotypical judgments. Makes you wonder at the contribution so-called 'anti-social' elements would make if we would but create opportunities for them to do so. Enlightening & entertaining.

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Shadrach - While nearly every film can be said to show how we habitually choose the same life patterns over & over - even when they don't necessarily bring happiness - this likable movie makes it plainly clear. Shadrach is a freed slave who, as death approaches, walks from Alabama back to his native Virginia to be buried on the land on which he toiled.

Leaving Las Vegas has a similar theme, to the extent that it becomes a physical addiction for Nicholas Cage's character.

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City of Angels - This fantasy tear-jerker is a great movie that opens the mind to possibilities, even if its only message in the end is that sometimes things happen beyond our control that cause pain, and we simply have to accept.

In this case, it involves love that was not meant to be.

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Take the Lead - This enjoyable and entertaining piece uses dance as a vehicle for bringing people together through passion. When a ballroom dance teacher takes on a group of high school troublemakers in an effort to culture them, they initially resist. But when they see that Tango can be, in the words of one character, "like sex on a hardwood floor", they sing - and dance - a different tune. Antonio Banderas as the dance teacher is worth the admission or rental price alone.

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Bagdad Cafe - This amusing, off-beat flick shows how one person can transform their environment simply by following their desire. Worth the view if you like quirky films.

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Secretary - This touching, dark romantic sexual comedy explores the emotional life of a woman who finds expression and outlet for her pain in an S&M fetish relationship with her boss. The film shows how sex can be a healing tool for inner turmoil. By creating a pleasureful association for pain, we let ourselves acknowledge, accept, and ultimately heal suffering that may otherwise remain repressed.

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Gary Joseph
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More Great Movies    Posted: December 29, 2004 Reply with quote

Amistad - This is the inspiring true story of a fight for freedom in a land - America - where freedom is constitutionally guaranteed. It serves to remind us that freedom is often more than we think it is -- we may actually be living in bondage, enslaved physically, mentally, and/or socially, all the while believing ourselves to be free.

America, which stands for freedom, challenges us to look at ourselves and ask, 'are we truly free human beings?'

While Amistad itself focuses on the issue of slavery and racial freedom, its message is relevant to all freedoms, including sexual freedom. America must remove the social (in the form of attitudes and customs), religious, and legal constraints that keep sexuality repressed, thereby preventing us from realizing our sacred sexual potential as human beings.

Ironically, freedom is often feared as something that will destroy the controlled life we are accustomed to. In Amistad, former Vice President Calhoun warns President Van Buren that, should slavery be abolished, the South could not economically survive. Just as that fear proved unfounded, so are the fears that sexual freedom will lead to a degraded or immoral state in America. History has always shown that where freedom reigns, truth and goodness flourish.

When people are sexually free, they will choose expressions of sexuality that bring the most rewarding and exalted experience. That sexuality is of the sacred kind, and will be the foundation of a sacred sexual society.

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Iron Jawed Angels - This superbly made film tells the story of the women's suffrage movement in the early 20th century (yes, hard to believe that women were denied the right to vote in America - the land of freedom and equal rights - until 1920). This story is a perfect example of how society holds certain views on moral grounds - very strongly, as this movie shows - that are later seen to be puritanical, repressive, inhumane, and ironically...immoral. The way people viewed women's rights is reminiscent of past treatment of African-Americans, and not unlike current views toward homosexuality and sacred sexuality. If only we'd see that we're much better off skipping the conflict-ridden transition period, and simply grow into a more progressive, open, and enlightened society, we would evolve more smoothly & peacefully into what is our inevitable destiny anyway.

For those who don't care for stuffy period movies, this one is refreshingly modern & hip, with a great soundtrack, while staying true to historical fact.

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maya108
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Vagina Monologues    Posted: December 30, 2004 Reply with quote

I was surprised not to see The Vagina Monologues on your list.

Did you see it, and what did you think?

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Vagina Monologues    Posted: December 30, 2004 Reply with quote

I did see the Vagina Monologues....and was a little disappointed. Sad

I had hoped that a female perspective on the subject would be more insightful & enlightening, but I found a lot of the same shallow views that men have about women's bodies. I appreciate the desire to make it entertaining (and it generally was), but I was hoping for something more.

To me, it really shows the need for sacred sex knowledge, even for how women view their own sexuality.

Still, there were parts that WERE very good -- especially ones that brought up healing experiences in women just from talking about their vaginas & sexuality. That shows how valuable it is simply to remove the stigma of sexuality and our bodies so we can talk openly (no doubt plenty of men would heal by talking about their own sexuality). In that regard, what Eve did with the Vagina Monologues is VERY positive, and I encourage any & all such open discussion.

Where society is at regarding healthy sexuality is less important than whether we're making positive steps toward it through open sharing & learning. From that perspective, I think what Eve has done is great.

I invite her to do a follow-up based on sacred sex teachings:

The Sacred Vagina Monologues. luv

russ
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movies that go with the flow of life    Posted: March 27, 2005 Reply with quote

Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon in the title role is an absolutely delightful portrayal of feminism. Tracing the life of an iconoclastic, exquisitely beautiful, and even more resourceful girl who rises from the very bottom to the very top of Victorian society with a bounce in her step , a wink in her eye, a swish of her hips and a captivating and shrewd understanding of male/female relations. I laughed myself silly and loudly cheered this marvelous woman" s triumph and compassion. Gabriel Byrne turns in a strong presence as the yopung lady's mentor and benefactor. Vanity Fair is a marvelous thumb in the nose of stuffy respectability and a glorious celebration of sexuality and sensuality"s power to utterly transform life into a joyous celebration and exploration of possibility in being.
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russ
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Re: Vagina Monologues    Posted: March 27, 2005 Reply with quote

GaryJoseph said:
I did see the Vagina Monologues....and was a little disappointed. Sad

I completely understand your mixed feelings . One often hopes for a "home run" from our perspective and perhaps a true" home run" has already been hit in relationship to the culture at large in exactly this presentation.
In my opinion ANYTHING which facilitates a loving and accepting attitude to our bodies is to be lauded and encouraged no matter how "shallow" we may believe it to be. We have millennia of fear, guilt,and shame about our bodies and our sexuality to overcome in reclaiming our fundamental innocence and creative power.
In many ways, we are ALL neophytes and enthusiastic renegades exploring the full breadth of FREEDOM IN BEING. One must start and travel from where one actually IS. If you are ready and capable of accelerated travel without risk of harm a facilitator WILL be in your life
and you will have exceptional experience of LOVE THROUGH SURRENDER.

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Baby steps better than no steps    Posted: March 28, 2005 Reply with quote



I agree with you 100%, Russ.
russ
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Tears of the Sun    Posted: April 1, 2005 Reply with quote

This is an especially favorite flick of mine. It is a gritty portrayal of courage, mercy, compassion and the exquisitely beautiful "dance of love "which takes place between the two title characters ,a man and a woman, who are both stubbornly focused and unyielding in their commitment to fulfill their responsibilities. Along the way they grow very close and supportiive of each other in their extremity and concren for the welfare of those to whom they are committed.
This movie gives an extremely moving portrayal of both feminine and masculine courage in response to threats of and actual experience of the genocidal insanity which appears to be the norm for African states since the dawn of time.
Not always particularly pretty- neither is the hatred which is at the root of genocide- but to me an incredibly inspiring movie

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What the Bleep Do We Know    Posted: April 13, 2005 Reply with quote

Anyone who would like "solid Evidence" of how absolutely radical REALITY is needs to see this film. The world of Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics reveals what mystics, sages , Yogi's and Avatars have known to be true for millemia: WE CREATE OUR EXPERIENCE, the world as we think we know and see it is merely an outpicturing of our inner selves. This seemingly SOLID physical world is not solid at all- it is malleable, shapable, changable. It only seems not to change because WE
don't.
This film reveals the DYNAMISM of life. Nothing is static. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is constant except BEING. EVERYTHING ELSE IS IN FLOW AND FLUX This film portrays the QUANTUM discoveries through the story of a woman photographer. Short interviews with Quantm physicists, a chiropractor , a "channeler" and many other professionals from a wide field of Disciplines reveal the incredible diversity of scientific inquiry and discovery which are authenticating what Masters , Adepts, and Phuilosophers have taught about life for ages.
The most significant theme of this film is that WE ARE CO-CREATORS WITH GOD of all of our experience. There are NO VICTIMS, and NO ACCIDENTS. THIS FILM EMPHASISES THE IMPORTANCE OF MASTERING THE MIND .
My Master called the group think of the world at large MASS MIND and emphasised the importance of breaking free of this MASS way of thinking in order to know yourself. All Masters have taught this and this film emphasises the importance of doing the very same thing,
We are here to learn how to master our thinking. It is one of the most important lessons to learn. This film gives graphic evidence of the power of thought , to create our experience and CEMENT patterns of activity into our very cell structure so much so that habitual attitudes literally change the structure AND function of our bodies at the cellular and sub atomic levels .
" Be ye TRANS FORMED by the RENEWING of your minds "
is literally true. This film emphasises this necessity for renewal of mental and emotional patterns to wash away old ingrained ways of thinking and behaving in gaining FREEDOM.
It's all in this film folks as far as theory and individuals gaining experience of LOVE, GOD, REALITY, the way our body and brain function ACTUALLY and much more.
What is not presented is how to get to and live in this BEINGNESS . The film reveals the nature of life and is very affirming of Spirit. It falls short in telling how to BE THERE but that is for each to search for and discover for ourselves. This film says : ALL of the mystic , occult, and philosophical TEACHING about the nature of Reality is true
because direct evidence is being discovered by scientists which confirms and affirms it as well as leading us further than we ever thought possible.

The "observer" /"witness is documented but not IDENTIFIED. The observer is ME the god self and soul at the core-the eternal and immortal BEING

The film asks: "Just how far down the rabbit hole {OF CONSCIOUSNESS} are you willing to go?" Watch this film and contemplate your answer!

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Re: What the Bleep Do We Know    Posted: April 14, 2005 Reply with quote

I just saw this last week -- yes it's insightful for it's take on how we create our own reality and experience. But it takes too much liberty with the randomness of nature. All possibilities ARE there, but laws of nature shape those possibilities into specific realities. Yes, laws of nature can be used to create 'miraculous' realities and experiences, but those too only come about in the context of and with the support of those laws.

russ said:
My Master called the group think of the world at large MASS MIND and emphasised the importance of breaking free of this MASS way of thinking in order to know yourself.

Of course, the Society for Sacred Sexuality aims to transform the mass mind so that we all see the world as it truly is, as suggested in this film & by modern science. Then individuals won't need to break free & be 'radical' like Christ & Buddha, etc. We'll all just be born into an enlightened society, and it will be the norm, as it should be.

I know, it's a big task, but someone's got to do it.

russ said:
What is not presented is how to get to and live in this BEINGNESS.

Sounds like a job for sacred sex. Mr Yellow

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A Walk on The Moon    Posted: September 9, 2005 Reply with quote

This is movie explores the upheaval on of the late 60's in the life of one family when the wife, Pearl played by Diane Lane, seeks to find her own person again during a summer in the Catskills. Her husband is a good hard working unimaginative man , Manny, played by Liev Schrieber . Pearl discovers the freedom of being of the hippie movement
with the freespirited, handsome and extremely imaginative traveling blouse salesman , Walker Jerome, played by Viggo Mortensen.
Pearl and Manny are a Jewish couple who live in the city and summer in the Catskills with their two children, a 14 year old daughter and 7 year old son, and Manny's mother the Bubbe' .
For those of you who remmeber this glorious and tumultuos time in our history this film will speak volumes and for those who came after this time a clear picture is given. There is a scene in the film where crowds are pouring into Woodstock { The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was it's full name} over a leveled chain link fence and I was right there again walking over that same fence 36 years ago and hearing Richie Havens singing "Freedom". The music in the film is the early hiippie music of Jefferson Airplane { I absolutely LOVE the lyrically haunting "Today" sung by Grace Slick} Jimmy Hendrix , The Incredible String Band and others.
Manny finds out that Pearl is having the affair with the traveling salesman and is so angry that he tells her "to me you don't exist anymore." Her forteen year old daughter, who sneeks off to Woodstock herself and sees her Mother very high with her shirt off in the blouse salesman's arms, is angry with her too as is Manny's mother who futilely tried to get Pearl to "stop Stupping the blouse man" The resolution of these relationships gives a fairly graphic and accurate picture of the times and the tensions between the established and new energies as they collide in the relationships and experiences of the people involved .
Overall a very good film, with great acting and soundtrack, which shows the challenges of the conflict of the old, settled, established way of life with the new, very upsetting energy of the dawning New Age . This is a view of a time which broke down the barriers throughout society and opened the way for the recovery of the lost feminine which is in full swing in our time today. I highly recommend watching it.

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Walk on the Moon    Posted: September 9, 2005 Reply with quote

I saw this awhile back too, and also enjoyed it. You're right Russ, it shows the changing social trends of the '60s, and how they impacted personal lives...and the world.

Two relevant forums for these ideas are:

Understanding History - a purpose to everything

And for those who aren't sure where to look for guidance in these times of social change:

Social Correctness - How does it feel?

anthranill
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    Posted: January 21, 2008 Reply with quote

Of all the erotica, the fake and the real, the posed and the pompous; the scenes in my bed and mind.... I admit I have only seen it once, but the scene in "Enemy at the Gates" where two lovers meet in the field of combat, in an enclave of fellow Comrades, in the early 1940's in Stalingrad. A female soldier and her male soldier lover, in a cold crowded room... and they make love and send waves of sensuality beyond the silver screen.

That is what it must be like - not flaunting it, but not shying away from it either; what makes us human....
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