The Dhamma Brothers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dhamma Brothers Reviews

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February 17, 2013
Another good documentary about trying something different, meditation to inmates who have been in prison for doing horrific crimes. Others in the street who are Christian, tend to dismiss this program because its something that they don't believe. If the people are paying taxes for this prisoners, having programs like this can make such a big difference but also to those who might get out to the world again. Most of those prisoners return back to prison because they're not accepted and are not mentally ready to experience the real world again. Quite interesting if they starting doing this in almost all prisons.
December 7, 2012
Inspiring human such an unlikely place. It fills me with hope for humanity.
September 5, 2012
This is a great film.
½ August 19, 2012
Powerful and inspirational stuff.
½ June 19, 2012
Yes! This is Spiritual and Cultural Evolution in Action!! Sadhu! __/|\__
June 1, 2012
Documentario de um projeto que levou a meditação budista (Vipassana) para detentos, no presidio de segurança maxima do Alabama, em um dos locais mais conservador (cristão) do E.U.A
½ June 1, 2012
Very inspirational!!!!!!
February 25, 2012
Did the 36 Alabama inmates fundamentally change after their 10 day Valpassana mediation retreat or were they just "conning" the system? You decide. If you believe the former, as I did, this is a great model for anyone who is struggling with their demons and help them understand how their actions impact the world. Low cost solution to a big societal problem!
July 2, 2011
The Dhamma Brothers examines the deeply reflective practice of a ten day meditative retreat, known as Vipassana, by violent lifer inmates inside an Alabama maximum security prison. Many of the correctional officers doubt the efficacy of the program, and suspect the rehabilitative calm it seems to be having on certain inmates as being fake. Yes, it's true that men on the inside can be manipulative and dishonest, yet once Vipassana is stripped from their facility by the powers that be there is no riot or revolt. The inmates have internalized their practice and their change is authentic. They take meditation to their cells and commence to begin their own rehabilitation.
January 3, 2011
A surprisingly inspirational film!
March 14, 2010
This one had all the potential in the world to be an amazing doc with a great message. The message that the mind is an extremely powerful tool/weapon depending on how you look at it. The directors failed to go into any great detail about the origins of the meditation used in this film. The conflicts between bringing such eastern methodology in the heart of the bible belt in Alabama prison systems.

If this film did one thing, it just made me want to go watch a documentary on this exact subject! Sheesh!
½ December 23, 2009
The havoc and terror on the victims that put these criminals in a maximum security prison is not addressed fairly. The victims live their crimes everyday of their lives. If their victim was murdered, the family of that victim lives the terror and heartbreak of that crime every day. All these guys want to do is "get out" of prison any way they can. They are convicts for a reason. They murdered and wrecked the lives of so many people when they were "free." They can keep their freedom in prison through their "meditation." It's easy to be soul searching when you are locked up in a maximum security prison. They are just looking for another way out of prison. Please don't be fooled by them. Since Jesus didn't get them released... maybe Buddha will. My bet is if they get out they will just kill and terrorize again. I vote to keep them in prison where they belong.
½ October 3, 2009
The theme of young men who essentially lost the rest of their life for taking someone else's made for the strongest scenes. But I still felt like there was a lot more going outside of the prison which would have made the whole story stronger.
½ March 17, 2009
What a powerful film about the power of Buddhist meditation and inner reflection. It really makes you think about forgiveness, redemption and the human condition. I think everyone should watch this film (and meditate)!
November 26, 2008
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[size=3][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS']This documentary is exactly what it is [i]intended[/i] to be: an excellent piece that portrays an extremely difficult process. There is no doubt that Vipassana meditation is not easily understood by those who have never undertaken to learn the technique, whether they are inmates or reviewers. However, it is incumbent on reviewers to have at least some understanding of the technique itself.[/font][/color][color=black][font=Tahoma][/font][/color][/size]

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[color=black][font='Comic Sans MS'][size=3]Although 'Buddhism' is mentioned in the film, there is little connection between the practice of Vipassana meditation and the religion of Buddhism, other than both ostensibly derive from the teachings of the Buddha. The fact seems to have escaped a few of the reviewers of this film that the Buddha never declared his teachings (Dhamma) to be a religion nor did he wish Dhamma to be relegated to religious dogmatism.[/size][/font][/color]

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[size=3][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS']At least one reviewer criticizes the inmates in this documentary, grandiosely pontificating ??[/font][/color][i][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS']it becomes obvious that these hardened criminals are willing to say or do anything to get something positive in their files to put before the parole board.? [/font][/color][/i][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS'] If one is willing to suspend his/her [i]professional cynicism[/i] for even a moment, it becomes obvious that through the learning and practice of Vipassana meditation, these human beings have for the most part undertaken personal responsibility. They have come to realize positive personal change through their experience.[/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS']Will the inmates continue to practice Vipassana and learn from their meditative experiences? Perhaps they will, but it is too early to predict, either way. Although [/font][/color][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS']Donaldson Prison has once again resumed allowing Vipassana meditation to be taught within its confines, if[/font][/color][color=black][font='Comic Sans MS'] the inmates are to continue to use (and profit from) this unique and introspective meditation technique, they must embrace the practice on an individual as well as group basis. Perhaps in a few years we will be fortunate enough to see a [i]follow-up[/i] film produced that will allow us all to learn what progress may have been made by these same inmates. Until such time, this documentary film provides an excellent opportunity to witness the birth of something unique to the annals of prison history. [/font][/color][/size]
October 21, 2008
very enlightening,this is a subject that has always worried me, is nice to see that something can be done, I think it says alot about a society on how they treat the "unwanted citizens".
July 18, 2008
A powerful testament to the power of respect, and the ability of the soul to heal itself when given the time and space. Bring tissues, and be prepared to be indignant.
½ June 27, 2008
This is a challenging documentary subject, because the transformation these men make is not visual. But the men themselves, their stories, and their evolution is so compelling. And it's so nice to see a documentary that leaves me feeling hopeful rather than hopeless.
June 4, 2008
A great introduction to Buddhist meditation and it's ability to transform lives - in the context of a prison, where the Buddhist understanding of detachment and freedom is most relevant. It's an amazing documentary and I highly recommend it.
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