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The Human Experience

71 customer reviews

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(Mar 29, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

We are all searching for answers to the most basic questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Do we really matter?

In a world fraught with hostility and violence, an altruistic group of young men endeavor to understand the true essence of the human spirit by visiting forgotten souls such as homeless New Yorkers, Peruvian orphans and isolated Ghanaian lepers. By spotlighting heartwarming stories from around the world, this uplifting documentary shows viewers that every single person, no matter his or her lot in life, is beautiful. Gorgeously filmed and masterfully narrated, THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE explores with depth and compassion what it means to be a human being.

Features insight and commentary from spiritual leaders and philosophers including: Anna Halpine, Dr. William Hurlbut, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Dr. Alveda King, and Rev. Richard Neuhaus,

Special Features: Commentary with filmmakers; Theatrical Trailer; Photo Gallery; Subtitled in Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, German, and French.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jeffrey Azize, Clifford Azize, Michael Campo, Matthew Sanchez
  • Directors: Charles Kinnane
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0044M2OS6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,959 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have no doubt that the independent documentary "The Human Experience" will be embraced by many as a heartfelt film experience. And why not? It is a sincere and well meaning journey that covers a number of interesting and relevant themes. The film's central message seems to be that we are all connected, no matter our condition or status in life, by the bond of simply being human. It's a great thought, if a fairly broad one. And while individual sequences within the film can be quite involving and moving, the film does get weighed down with a lack of focus. This is what I call "everything but the kitchen sink" filmmaking. They are so eager to cover as much as possible in as many different ways as possible, the film starts to lose the power of simplicity. This is a journey of self discovery, a sociological examination of relationships, and an anthropological study of various cultures--just to name a few of the many narrative threads. It's an intriguing film that, if anything, is overstuffed with ideas it wants to convey.

At heart, I really admire the premise behind the film. Two brothers having experienced a difficult upbringing get into the mind set that they really want to experience life. They want to see what drives other people, to find hope where there seems like there would be none. The documentary chronicles three such experiences--living among the homeless in New York City, visiting abandoned children in a Peruvian hospital, and traveling to Africa to sit down amongst a leper colony. But more than these experiences, the film seems to be about how the people they meet influence the principle characters.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Richards on April 26, 2011
Format: DVD
I watched this movie without much idea what it was about. My initial interest was rooted in a shallow curiosity based on an indie band/ambient music favorite of mine (hammock) having 4 songs in the soundtrack. Beyond that I had no expectations other than it is a documentary and supposed to be uplifting. From the beginning I was hooked.

We meet two adult brothers who live in a "halfway house". There is never much detail as to why they live there but it doesn't matter. We watch them interact and it's obvious they are close, have each other, and are close with some others at the house. A family of sorts and this seems to have become pretty comfortable to them. Then they set out to see what is beyond that. To really be involved and not look at things on the surface as they pass by.

They live with the homeless on the streets of New York City and it doesn't appear as if they cheat even a little. They have decided if they are going to do this, they will do it right. Those who live on the streets offer them information to survive in the cold of winter. The older brother doesn't seem as sold on the idea of doing this as the younger as their initial outlooks could hardly be more opposite but they go through with it supporting each other. Some very insightful moments come from talking with the folks who actually live on the streets and won't be going back home after two weeks. I especially recall the comments made by a woman who makes a comparison of the homeless to lost dogs.

From there they move on to visit an orphanage in Peru. We watch as homeless children, many with quite severe birth defects undergo physical therapy, play, grow as a "family".
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Hutnick on December 27, 2010
Format: DVD
The screening for this movie was held at my school this past year, and I have to say that it was absolutely phenomenal. The footage is so deep and real that it holds the potential to change the life of any viewer forever, as corny as that may sound. Seeing the good things that we often take advantage of and watching the horrors that happen around us that we are completely unaware of was shocking. The Human Experience is undoubtedly both a tear-jerker and an eye-opening experience. I would highly recommend that anyone and everyone should see this movie at one point in their lifetime. It will change your outlook on life dramatically, I guarantee it!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Loarie VINE VOICE on April 14, 2012
Format: DVD
The award wining, independent documentary, "The Human Experience" by Clifford Azize, Jeffery Azize, Michael Campo, and Matthew Sanchez is a must see for the entire family. I had ordered a copy from Netflix on the basis of recommendation but with no knowledge about the film or its origins. I found it inspiring, fascinating, captivating, and rewarding. I plan to share this with my children and grandchildren as well as with a ministry I co-lead for those who are in-transition.

"The Human Experience" follows a group of young men (Azize brothers, Campo, and Sanchez) who meet at a half-way house in New York City and then travel around the world in search of answers to life's big questions - Why am I here? What is life? What is the meaning of it all? Their first foray takes them into the streets of NYC during the coldest week of the year to live with the homeless. They interview the homeless - "I am grateful, despite being homeless, for life."

Their next adventure takes them to Peru, as part of a surfing club focused on charitable acts, where they work with orphans (many abandoned by their parents) and disabled children. And finally, they travel to Africa to work with abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana.

What is learned changes the young men forever. The human spirit, the appreciation for the gift of life, and the search for meaning are universal, regardless of circumstance. We are all connected, no matter our condition or status in life, by the bond of simply being human. This film also challenges the thought that some lives are not worth living (disabled and diseased) and that those who are aborted did not deserve the life that was given to them.
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