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Joseph Campbell - The Hero's Journey

65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"And so Galahad decided that it would be a disgrace to set off on a quest with the other knights. Alone he would enter the dark forest where there was no path. This is the myth of the Hero’s Journey." —Joseph Campbell

One of the greatest storytellers of our time, and arguably the greatest mythologist, Joseph Campbell spent most of his long, rich career explaining how ancient myths like the Hero’s Journey are relevant to modern life. In understanding the importance of myth as a vital, vibrant source of "mankind’s one great story," Campbell inspired others to embark on a quest for the meaning of myth in their own lives. This biographical portrait, filmed shortly before his death in 1987, follows Campbell’s personal quest—a pathless journey of questioning, discovery, and ultimately of delight and joy in a life to which he said, "Yes."

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Donat, Joseph Campbell, Richard Adams, James Hillman, George Lucas
  • Directors: David Kennard, Janelle Balnicke
  • Writers: Janelle Balnicke, William Free, Phil Cousineau
  • Producers: Janelle Balnicke, Stuart L. Brown, William Free
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acacia
  • DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K7UEMW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,928 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Joseph Campbell - The Hero's Journey" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Minton on April 15, 2002
Format: DVD
After owning the VHS of this movie for over five years, and having watched it several times I am really beginning to appreciate the narrative structure of the movie. It just flows well. The amount of ideas expressed in a mere 58 minutes is gargantuan. This is about the best overview of Campbell's overall teaching that I know of (and I have an extensive JC collection). The best parts of the movie are the footage of actual interaction between Campbell and his students (who were often his teachers in other aspects). George Lucas says in the movie that as wonderful as Campbell's books are, they just don't capture the essence of the man. This is the biggest understatement it the movie. This was a wonderful, wonderful man, a genius. Even in death, he remains a role model in an age without them. Add this documentary to your collection and you will not be disappointed.
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112 of 117 people found the following review helpful By John P. Morgan VINE VOICE on March 3, 2007
Format: DVD
I am a reflective person by nature, I believe that most people are, I just think that for the most part, a lot of us have gotten sidetracked. Instead of facing our issues and our challenges we face the television and we escape our pain by watching the pains that others are going through...Anna Nicole...Brittney Spears...and I've heard a lot of people comment on these two women...they're "nuts", "freaks", they "have everything but don't even know it..." but I see these women as symbols for where we are as a culture; lost, sad, empty...

This documentary reminds me in such a brilliant way that we really are on a journey. That each one of us has a role to play out and that is to learn how to be the "star" of our own production. Most of us have not learned how to do this. Most of us think that life just happens and we have to deal with what life gives us. But nothing can happen to us, until it happens "through" us...through our own perceptions, our own attitudes, our own beliefs about it. Most of us profess to believing in some kind of Higher Power and yet we are afraid to admit that this Higher Power is within us...that we are, in Truth, expressions of this Higher Power.

Joseph Campbell would be the first to admit that for the most part, most of us are not afraid of our darkness, our shadows, our fears...what we are most afraid of is our brilliance, our light, our beauty. There is no devil outside of us waiting to "snatch" our souls, we steal from ourselves every time we think we are "miserable sinners" rather than extensions of the Divine.

We are literally in the dark about who we truly are. Anna Nicole was. Brittney Spears is. Most of us are. We are not our bodies.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By LuelCanyon on July 29, 2007
Format: DVD
If you know Joseph Campbell's work, this documentary provides little new info but plenty of big insight into his teaching and personal life, with especially generous sketches of his dancer wife, and her spiritual and artistic journey parallel to Campbell's own, including some fascinating footage of her work with Martha Graham's company. The mere hour long film flies by, a tribute to its integrity. One sterling aspect is the copious footage of Campbell talking/teaching with friends and students, &a palette of wonderful interview narratives edited with pizazz, and with clear affection for Campbell's vast essential contribution to religious studies. The master is his genial, intense, unflappable best throughout, trademark ruddy cheeks in full bloom. If you seek an indepth experience of Joseph Campbell's work, get Moyers' 'Power of Myth'. This bio documentary is a swell companion piece to that series. Big satisfied recommendation.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Wesley Bonofikle Craigenstein on September 19, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
The class screening of this video was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Campbell offers extraordinary insight into the human condition through meticulous analysis of mythology from all over the world. I found it very interesting that George Lucas's films were inspired by mythology. One can delve into all sorts of modern films and find situational, character, and symbolic archetypes that occurred in ancient mythology. Joseph Campbell possesses one of the most zealously inquisitive minds on this planet, and he proves it in this video. This does not deserve to be called a simple "video". It was an experience which will never be reproduced by another film company as long as man roams the earth.
Campbell has many interesting philosophies. One of these ideas which he portrayed in the video was that human beings should listen to the inner-voice. In this sense, we can all be dissenters (or mavericks). Joseph Campbell was a maverick of sorts until his tragic death in 1987. We could learn a lot about the art of being a maverick from this brave, intelligent man. He devoted his entire life to studying mythology, with little regard to what others thought of this practice. Campbell states in the video that every society can be evaluated to an enormous degree simply by examining what kind of stories and myths were created in said society. Also, one can see how similar all societies in the world are. Many of Campbell's statements relate to Carl Jung's theory of the collective unconscious. Frequent occurrences in mythology throughout the world show that all people might have similar basic thought processes.
The only aspect of the video that was not up to par was the interviewing style. I and a number of the other viewers felt that it was weak and not hard-hitting enough.
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