Can you suggest films for Shambhala Film Soirées?

I am inspired to start a Shambhala Film Soirée tradition in my home over the winter, inviting people to eat and drink together, and watch films that spark conversation about Shambhala vision. They can either communicate Shambhala principles directly, or sometimes expose setting sun mentality in an insightful way.  I would love it if you could suggest movies that you have been particularly impressed by!

I’ll start us off with a few of my favourites. Please add to the list by posting in the comments field below.

The Lives of Others (German: “Das Leben der Anderen” with English subtitles):  This movie does both.  It illustrates, very powerfully, the transformation that human beings are capable of when basic goodness is experienced.  Set in East Berlin.
Bagdad Café (also known as Out of Rosenheim) is a 1987 German film directed by Percy Adlon.
Babette’s Feast (DanishBabettes gæstebud) is a 1987 Danish drama film directed by Gabriel Axel.

10 Responses to Can you suggest films for Shambhala Film Soirées?

  1. Here are some films that we particularly enjoyed at the weekly Movie Night held in my home in Tatamagouche this winter. All are available on DVD:

    The Broken Circle Breakdown, 2013, 111 min., Belgium (in Flemish w/English subtitles)
    Panorama Audience Award, Berlin, 2013; Best Film & Best Director, European Film Awards, 2013; Best Narrative Feature & Best Screenplay, Tribeca, 2013; Nominated Most Popular Film, Vancouver, 2013
    Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight. She has her own tattoo shop and he plays the banjo in a bluegrass band. They bond over their shared enthusiasm for American music and culture, and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage – but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass, The Broken Circle Breakdown is a romantic melodrama of the highest order. Written by Tribeca Film

    ARCTIC DEFENDERS, 2013, Canada, 85 min., in English and Inuktitut, Documentary
    A story of visionary inuit with a dream – the creation of Nunavut
    Best Feature, Atlantic Film Festival, 2013, where the film premiered in September 2013
    In 1968, at the age of 16, Haligonian John Walker (Men of the Deeps, The Champagne Safari) boarded a ship to Resolute Bay in the High Arctic. What he saw up there changed him: “I’m rocking the boat, definitely, with this film,” says the veteran filmmaker, speaking about his newest documentary, Arctic Defenders. “As I was rocked. Profoundly rocked, to the very core, when I found out that the ‘Eskimos’ that I had travelled 2,000 miles to see in Resolute when I was 16 had been shipped there by our government as ‘human flagpoles.’”
    The film isn’t designed, however, to “make Canadians feel guilty.” but as a wide-ranging and passionate love letter to Inuit culture and a stirring account of the creation of Nunavut. Far from a stodgy history lesson, this is an epic drama featuring radicals, visionaries and Western civilization’s largest land claim. It’s also an incredibly personal film, as it charts Walker’s return to the High Arctic he first explored as a wide-eyed teenager.

    An Education, 2009, UK/USA, 100 min.
    Nominated for Best Picture, Actress and Screenplay at the 2010 Oscars; Audience Award, Sundance, 2009; Best Actress, BAFTA, 2009; Best Film, Chicago, 2009; Actress of the Year, Hollywood Film Festival, 2009; and a host of other awards.
    The coming-of-age of Jenny Mellor in 1960s suburban London. Jenny is sixteen, bright, pretty, and curious about everything in life. On her father’s wishes, everything that she does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, so she can have a ‘better life’. The only problems he perceives is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a nice but socially awkward boy named Graham. And then, Jenny meets a suave older man who goes out of his way to charm her and her family and show them that there is nothing improper in his interest; all he wants is to expose Jenny to the cultural activities she so enjoys. But things are not quite as they seem – after all it’s London, in the swinging 60s, and so, Jenny gets an education…. Deliciously humourous and the film that launched British actress Carey Mulligan into the big time.

    Twin Sisters, 2002, The Netherlands, 137 min.,
    Dutch Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Film, 2004; Golden Calf, Netherlands Film Festival, 2003.
    Based on the Dutch bestseller by Tessa de Loo that has been read by more than 3.5 million readers in Holland and Germany.
    When six years old twin sisters Lotte (Julia Koopmans) and Anna (Sina Richard) see their mother fall victim of a deadly disease everything they have known disappears in an instant. Sickly Lotte, is sent to live with a distant wealthy upper class relative in Holland where she falls in love with a well-off Jewish boy. Anna, the healthier sister, is taken to the farm of her strict uncle in northwestern Germany where she grows up to fall in love with an ardent admirer of Hitler. Separated by many miles and a war that is slowly changing the map of Europe, the two hardly ever communicate; until one day, fate brings them back together. This is an intimate film that does not aspire to be a panoramic representation of the events from 1920-1945. On the contrary, it elaborates on the idea that no matter what side you happen to be a part of during wars there are no real winners, there are only victims left to deal with the consequences of human madness.

    Hannah Arendt, 2012, Germany, 113 min.
    Margarethe von Trotta’s (The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, Rosenstrasse) remarkable – and unlikely – film about a woman whose major activity is thinking. The film has garnered major critical attention and has been sold in over thirty countries.
    German Film Awards, 2013: Gold for Best Actress; Silver for Outstanding Feature Film; Bavarian Film Award for Best Actress, 2013; Best Film, Valladolid, 2013
    The film explores a particular moment in Arendt’s life, when she wrote a series of articles for The New Yorker, reporting on the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann and a subsequent book – Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. She infuriated some parts of the Jewish community by suggesting Eichmann was a bureaucrat who didn’t know what he was doing during the Holocaust – and then went on to criticize some Jewish leaders for their cooperation with the Nazis. Prepare to want to talk after this one!
    There are still so few films about female geniuses that we can’t afford for any of them to be bad. Thank God this one’s so good. 

    The Intouchables, France, 2011, 112 min.:
    Golden Globe Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, 2013; Cesars (French Oscars) for just about everything, 2012; Best Foreign Film in such diverse places as Norway, Japan, Brazil, and Sarajevo.
    In Paris, the aristocratic and intellectual Philippe is a quadriplegic millionaire who is interviewing candidates for the position of his carer, with his red-haired secretary Magalie. Out of the blue, the rude African Driss cuts the line of candidates and brings a document from the Social Security and asks Phillipe to sign it to prove that he is seeking a job position so he can receive his unemployment benefit. Philippe challenges Driss, offering him a trial period of one month to gain experience helping him. Then Driss can decide whether he would like to stay with him or not. Driss accepts the challenge and moves to the mansion, changing the boring life of Phillipe and his employees.
    5% of the profits from the film will be donated to the Association Simon of Cyrene – 15 rue de Suffren – 75015 Paris whose purpose is to create shared living spaces for disabled adults and friends

    Wadjda, Saudi Arabia/Germany, 2012, 98 min.
    Official submission of Saudi Arabia to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category; Best International Feature, Los Angeles, 2012; Best Film, Venice, 2012; Special Award, Rotterdam, 2012; and many more.
    “The first feature entirely shot on Saudi Arabian soil and the first by a Saudi female director has struck blows both for the kingdom’s filmmakers and its women.” Phil Hoad, The Guardian
    Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, and rapidly approaching the age of not being able to go out of the house unveiled. Although she lives in a conservative world, she is fun-loving, entrepreneurial, and always pushing the boundaries. After a fight with her friend Abdullah, a neighborhood boy she shouldn’t be playing with, Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale. She wants the bicycle desperately so that she can beat Abdullah in a race. But Wadjda’s mother won’t allow it, fearing repercussions from a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl’s virtue. So Wadjda decides to try and raise the money herself. At first, Wadjda’s mother is too preoccupied with convincing her husband not to take a second wife to realize what’s going on. And soon enough Wadjda’s plans are thwarted when she is caught running various schemes at school. Just as she is losing hope, she hears of the cash prize for her school’s Koran recitation competition…..
    “The story is an admirable necklace on which to string facts, anecdotes and insights that illuminate in a good-natured way the lives of women in an unthinking, patriarchal, totalitarian society.” French Observer
    “I come from a small town in Saudia Arabia where there are many girls like Wadjda who have big dreams, strong characters and much potential. These girls can, and will, reshape and redefine our nation… I hope the film offers a unique insight into my own country and speaks of universal themes…”—Haifaa Al Mansour, Director

  2. John Odenthal

    “Cloud Atlas”: The Oscars didnt know how to handle this unusual futuristic drama — with its three directors, superb international actors, and parallel stories built around a vision of karma and rebirth. My favourite this past year. John.

  3. Carolyn Mandelker

    Wow! I haven’t checked for awhile and I see people have entered new movie suggestions! THat’s great! I plan to watch them, and perhaps offer a little review! Thank you.

  4. “Delicious Peace Grows”. Excellent short (40min) film about the formation of a coffee cooperative in strife torn Uganda among Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers.

  5. The Station Agent

    The Station Agent is a 2003 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas McCarthy. McCarthy’s script about a man who seeks solitude in an abandoned train station in the Newfoundland section of Rockaway Township, New Jersey and won him the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

  6. “Departures” (Japanese, I believe)
    & “Enlightenment Guaranteed” (German)
    Both would be excellent choices.

  7. Carolyn Mandelker

    Thank you!!!!

  8. Ana van Heukelom

    “As it is in Heaven”

    It’s a Shambhala film because the main character connects with his basicgoodness again, going back to his home town through music and love. It portrays enlightened society.

  9. Carolyn Mandelker

    Thanks Kirstie! Looking forward to watching those!

  10. “Off the Map” with Sam Elliot (2003)
    Beautiful, beautiful film:

    “Stranger Than Fiction” with Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman (2006)
    Farrell plays an unusually serious character in this out of the box film:

    Two of my all-time favorites – ENJOY!

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