Talking Story: A Personal Journey into Spirit and Healing
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Award-winning documentary Talking Story takes viewers on a fascinating adventure into the world of healing, shamanism, plant medicine, and divination. Learning that many indigenous cultures are on the verge of losing their medicinal plants, healing traditions, and spiritual knowledge as a result of habitat destruction, cultural assimilation, and globalization, filmmaker Marie-Rose Phan-Lê sets out on what becomes a life-changing journey to record the disappearing traditions of authentic mystics and shamans, discovering her own gift as a healer along the way.
From Hawaii to the Himalayas, the film follows Phan-Lê as she meets with healers and shamans, and transports viewers into a world of exotic places, esoteric practices, and practical applications in the art of healing. While chronicling the lives, rituals, and wisdom of the elders she meets, Phan-Lê is surprised to experience events that cause her to emerge from behind the lens and to accept herself as a healer.
"Marie-Rose is one of those rare individuals whose personal story elevates our perception and experience of our own lives. Her journey through the world of esoteric healers and her own experience as a healer and spiritual guide, told in Talking Story, her equally compelling film and book, open a window into a more meaningful and transcendent world that anyone looking for answers will find both astounding and inspiring."
—Denise DiNovi, producer of Crazy Stupid Love, The Lucky One, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Little Women, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Edward Scissorhands
"Eleven years may have seemed like a long time to complete a film, but it is clear that all the effort put into the travel and the experience being with and learning from exceptional healers was fully worth the effort. The personal journey is so generously and beautifully shared. This film is a gift."
—Flo Stone, president and founder of Environmental Film Festival
"It is rare to see a film that is filled with such rich spirituality yet delivered in such a human way. Talking Story is such a film. It held a fine balance of both worlds, which is rarely achieved on screen. I fell in love with it from the beginning and have told all my special friends this is a film to see."
—Rebecca Ingram, acquisitions manager at ScreenZone
"Some filmmakers talk about the spiritual journey, but Talking Story puts you on the road with all the travelers. Marie-Rose takes the heroine's journey to a new level and we are invited to walk alongside her. The result has a profound impact on her life and similarly, on each of us."
—David Skinner, executive producer of Outsourced, Smoke Signals, and Skeleton Key
"Life is filled with wonder, most of it built upon the past and how the past impacts the present. Understanding indigenous tribes, grasping history, and comprehending both spiritual and medicinal healing is crucial to mankind’s progress. M-R is taking us there by discovering her own healing powers, studying cultures to make herself a stronger healer and preserving that which has come before her. Through the storyline of personal growth, Talking Story educates the viewer on the mysteries of healers from around the world. This is more than a documentary; it is a brave and inspiring journey of personal discovery."
—George W. Perkins, executive producer of Desperate Housewives and Rake
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The author who is Vietnamese by birth, but who came to the United States when she was young, also has a gift for healing but has been unsure of her capacities. Through this journey we see her develop her gift and watch her go through some powerful experiences, some a bit scary as she did not understand what was happening to her. Each of the healers welcomed what she was trying to accomplish, thus allowing her to film, so that their traditions would be preserved for future generations. They also quite often would help her understand her gifts.
I loved in her acknowledgments the one to her mother that says: “I would like to express my love and gratitude to mom for starting me down this path of living the mundane while reaching for the heavens.” and the one to the healers: “I am forever grateful to all the healers who left us with breadcrumbs to follow and signpost to point the way home.”
This story will stick with me for a long time as will the people she encounters on this journey.
That's 84 minutes of my life I won't get back. Sigh.
The author has a wonderful way of getting to the sweetness in the people she encounters. What a gift!
Marie-Rose Phan-Le, thank you for sharing your amazing journey!
Would be great to be involved with a follow up project visiting other places on the globe, such as, Thailand or Peru, etc.