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The Human Experience (2008)

Jeffrey Azize , Clifford Azize , Charles Kinnane  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • 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 (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0044M2OS6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,310 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Commentary with filmmakers

Theatrical Trailer

Photo Gallery

Subtitled in Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, German, and French.

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
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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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing! December 27, 2010
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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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We get what we give. April 26, 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL
Published 1 day ago by MAC
5.0 out of 5 stars An Experience to Remember
Amazing and inspiring film; appropriate for use in the classroom as well (I am a teacher). DVD came quickly and was exactly as listed.
Published 18 days ago by Holly Trudgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars sweet little documentary
I don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was a good viewing experience. I gambled on this and I'm glad I did.
Published 3 months ago by lordoflies
5.0 out of 5 stars College Student Responses
I teach Introduction to sociology community college level (about 30 students) and I used this movie-documentary to show in class and the students loved it! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Montana
5.0 out of 5 stars You will like this
Arrived on time, Great movie, a lot to see. My church liked it as well, my church liked it as well
Published 5 months ago by jerome r goverman
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay
This documentary was well put together, but I think I was expecting to see something else. It covered the lives of people who were less fortunate. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SS
2.0 out of 5 stars Hardly lives up to its name
For such a grand title this film falls well short of answering any far reaching "meaning of life" type questions and is limited to some isolated experiences by two well... Read more
Published 6 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual experience
I loved this, and have had people over to watch it with me. It is very uplifting and a good spiritual experience.
Published 6 months ago by forgetme
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving
Very moving and forces us out of our self-pity mind set. We can find happiness and look at life from a different perspective.
Published 6 months ago by M. Werkhoven
5.0 out of 5 stars sobering
It's important to pick our heads up from time to time and take inventory on our lives. Reflecting on what we have made the primary focus and also reflecting on the depth of all... Read more
Published 7 months ago by mrs
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