A Film Crew Member’s Experience during the Oregon Prison Screening of the Dalai Lama Renaissance Film
Khashyar | September 17, 2010
I was greatly impacted by my experience after attending the screening of the Dalai Lama Renaissance Film at a prison in Oregon. Being a part of the crew which filmed the inmates response to the screening of the film and their profound personal life stories for a new film in the making by producer/director Khashyar Darvich was a profound and very touching experience for me.
In addition to the inmates insightful and heartfelt response to the screening of the film and how impacted they were by the Dalai Lama’s wisdom and teachings, their personal life stories that we filmed impacted me greatly. During the one-on-one interviews, hearing the absolute truth and honesty of these men was a humbling experience to me which I felt privileged to be a part of. One inmate spoke in detail of how he murdered his friend with his bare hands when he was in his late teens. Another spoke in detail of his experience of beating a man so severely over a business dispute. While filming these individuals, raw truth poured out of their eyes. I was so impacted by the deep humanness behind their words when they spoke. Their voices echoed the truth of their heart and the pain in their soul. However, their stories also showed a beauty of transformation deep in their being.
Despite the horror of their experiences, these individuals shared the amazing transformation that took place deep within them. These men shared the individual life stories of their crime and how they were able to find themselves and the peace within through deep introspection and meditation after being in prison for 15, 20, or 25 years, a peace that pulsated with absolute truth. They are not the same man that committed the crime, and most importantly they experience that they were never that man when the crime was committed. They were teachers to us all who were present. After returning from the first filming at the prison, I explained to my friends that these men today are more sane than many people out in the real world. I saw this and experienced it with my own eyes.
Leo (Los Angeles, CA)