The Dhamma Brothers

Critics Consensus

This thoughtful if rough hewn doc about death row inmates who discover Buddhism inspires hope that all of us are worthy of redemption.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 340

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Movie Info

In 2002, psychotherapist Jenny Phillips begins intensive meditation retreats for inmates at a maximum-security prison in rural Alabama. Based on the principles of Vipassana meditation, the 10-day retreats are conducted in total silence. This documentary explores the lives of four convicted murderers before, during and after the arduous retreats, as well as reactions from residents of the nearby town of Bessemer, many of whom object to the program on religious or social grounds.

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Critic Reviews for The Dhamma Brothers

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for The Dhamma Brothers

  • Apr 16, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]"The Dhamma Brothers" is an insightful documentary about an intense ten day course on Vipassana meditation taught at the Donaldson Correctional Facility(which is infamous for its level of violence) in Alabama in 2002. The inmates were kept apart for the ten days, forced to adhere to a rigid schedule and were not allowed to talk to each other.(The instructors spent all 10 days in the prison, mostly with the prisoners, many of whom were in jail for violent offenses.) This meditation technique may look easy but it was not. The hard part was not on the physical side, but on the mental side as the inmates were forced to examine their lives and how they got to this place in their lives.(In a world overflowing with cell phones and iPods, we do not do this often enough.) Time will tell if this has any lasting effect. [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]The film spends too much time on the admittedly odd juxtaposition of the Bible Belt and Buddhism, relying too much on generalizations. What is definitely more interesting are the concepts of law and order. Shouldn't rehabilitation be more important in a prison than simply punishing the inmates?[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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