DVD cover of "Departures"

The future has been imagined for the film audience by screenwriters, directors, and actors/actresses since the beginning of movies. This seminar focused on films from the silent era to the present that have envisioned with hope what’s ahead for the world and individuals, widening the possibilities of humankind. The films that have been chosen will evoke, through their characters, scenarios, and their bold cinematography and music, the qualities needed to carry hope forward and make it a reality through courage, passion, and imagination. The collection includes 16 feature films from several countries.

Film viewing order:

  1. Metropolis
  2. Modern Times
  3. Pinocchio
  4. A Matter of Life and Death
  5. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  8. E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial
  9. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
  10. Wall-E
  11. I Know Where I’m Going!
  12. Groundhog Day
  13. Cherry Blossoms
  14. Departures
  15. Wings of Desire
  16. El Sistema: Music to Change Life

See also: Twenty Favorite Films

Photo by Lina Trochez

Br. David Steindl-Rast
Francis G. Lu, M.D.

Francis G. Lu, M.D.

About the author

Francis G. Lu, M.D., is the Luke & Grace Kim Endowed Professor Emeritus in Cultural Psychiatry at the University of California, Davis. He co-led more than 20 film seminars at Esalen with Brother David Steindl-Rast from 1990 - 2016.

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author

Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.