In Search of the Miraculous DVD
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A film directed by Zivko Nicolic, script adaptation by Milan Peters based on the 1949 book by P.D.Ouspensky. Sidney:Fairway Films in association with Znak Productions Belgrade, 1998, 42 min. black & white. “Thoughtfully telescopes Ouspensky's book and glimpses of the teaching he received from Gurdjieff, interspersed with archival footage the Russia Revolution. Ends with Katherine Mansfield's eloquent soliloquy at Gurdjieff's Institute in France, shortly before her death." ~J. Walter Driscoll (Author of Gurdjieff: A Reading Guide.)
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However, the old footage seems to come in the wrong order. For instance, Lenin is shown speaking to the Russian crowds already before the Czar abdicates. In reality, Lenin didn't return to Russia until a few months later. A small detail, perhaps, but yes, I'm a perfectionist. ;-)
Most of the film deals with Ouspensky's search for a higher, spiritual truth than can change humanity for the better, and his encounter with the mysterious G.I. Gurdjieff. I admit that the two actors are convincing as high-brow intellectual and shady Oriental, respectively.
Ouspensky wonders why a transformative truth must be hidden from the people. How can that accomplish anything? Gurdjieff explains that most people simply couldn't be bothered. Man is at bottom a machine. Only a small minority can break free from its deterministic, robot-like existence. When Ouspensky demands proof in the form of miracles, Gurdjieff promises he will get it, but the film doesn't specify what he may have shown his chief disciple.
Surprisingly, "In search of the miraculous" mentions Ouspensky's later problems with and ambivalence towards Gurdjieff, whose behaviour was frequently erratic and incomprehensible. Yet, the film ends with Ouspensky nevertheless drawing the conclusion that Gurdjieff's "work" is worth it: "There is no place where I would rather be".
This short film is named after Ouspensky's voluminous work "In search of the miraculous", which I unfortunately haven't read (I have it, of course - don't you?). I'm not sure how to rate the film, but since it doesn't strike me as particularly important or interesting, I only give it two stars.