The Dhamma Brothers (2008)
Critic Consensus: This thoughtful if rough hewn doc about death row inmates who discover Buddhism inspires hope that all of us are worthy of redemption.
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Critic Reviews for The Dhamma Brothers
A sincere but unevenly made documentary about Buddhism on death row.
Most of these men will never know freedom beyond prison walls, but they have learned liberation from within.
A sort of cross between The Shawshank Redemption and an episode of MSNBC's Lockup, the intriguing documentary The Dhamma Brothers makes a cogent case for prisoner rehabilitation over, as one inmate here bluntly puts it, being 'warehoused till you die'.
There's one image you're likely to take away from this mind-boggling documentary. It's of rows and rows of men dressed completely in white and seated cross-legged on royal blue mats.
The Dhamma Brothers offers a constructive alternative to the hopelessness of human warehousing.
Audience Reviews for The Dhamma Brothers
[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]
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