22nd Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: ROOTED IN PEACE
A Greg Reitman Film
UMass Amherst alum Greg Reitman (’93) presents a personal journey of discovery, seeking answers to humanity’s self-destructive cycles of waste, war, and violence in this fascinating documentary. Seeking counsel from famous luminaries and activists, the film asks us how we want to live on this planet and challenges us to examine our own values.
Reitman interviews physician and author Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, neuroscientists Dan Siegel, Fred Travis, and many others. Greg also returned to his alma mater to show where he first came up with the idea of planting trees for peace. [official site | event poster | MMFF site | Rooted in Peace showing]
This 2015 documentary film premiered at the 21st Annual Sedona International Film Festival, February 21–March 1, 2015. See previous blog post on this Sundance Alum: Greg Reitman’s film, ROOTED in PEACE, inspires us to change from within to transform the world. See the trailer. More news: ROOTED in PEACE to play Martha’s Vineyard and an Iowa premiere at Fairfield’s Sondheim Center.
Amherst is home to the Transcendentalists, Emerson and Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson. So it seemed fitting for the UMass Amherst campus to be selected as the site for a meditation course and symposium in the summer of 1971.
I was one of hundreds who had attended that one-month Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Another course followed on the West Coast at Humboldt State College, now University, in Arcata, California. Over two thousand of us would continue with the next step in our Teacher Training Course with Maharishi the following year in Mallorca, Spain and Fuiggi Fonte, Italy for six months, from January to June, 1972.
One of the Amherst course participants was Beach Boy Mike Love. I was introduced to him by Charles Lloyd, a jazz musician on the course who became a friend. I used to give them lifts to and from the dining hall. I would meet Donovan years later, and David Lynch, decades later. You can imagine my surprise when Greg told me he had graduated from UMass Amherst! It was great to arrange for Greg to interview Donovan and Mike Love on how they met Maharishi and learned TM, and David Lynch and Bob Roth, director of the David Lynch Foundation, about the transformational value of TM in schools and for at-risk populations. Small world! Full circle!
Wednesday, March 25th, tomorrow night’s showing of ROOTED IN PEACE, should be fulfilling for Greg, as he brings it all back home. He’s worked hard on this film and deserves all the kudos for manifesting this vision of personal and global transformation.
Following the course was the First International Symposium on the Science of Creative Intelligence. Maharishi interacted with many leading scientists and thinkers in all areas of life, including Buckminster Fuller. His presentations were so impressive that Maharishi kept interjecting his Vedic perspective in agreement. At a certain point, Fuller turned towards Maharishi and spoke only to him since he felt he was the only one who truly understood what he was saying. At the end he went over to Maharishi who had stood up to greet him and they held hands together. Everyone rose on their feet and applauded for a good ten to fifteen minutes. Those were very heady days! There also was a special press conference with both Fuller and Maharishi following his talk. It’s posted on the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Channel in 3 parts. I’ll post links here. Very much worth watching!
1/3. Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Part One of Press
2/3. Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Part Two of Press
3/3. Buckminster Fuller and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Part Three of Press
I enjoyed reading a fictional story about a young couple who meet at UMass Amherst, learn to meditate and later attend Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course at his Swiss headquarters. Given a mission, they return to live and work in Amherst where a dramatic and inspiring story unfolds. Read more and listen to author B. Steven Verney on Writers’ Voices talk about his enlightening novel, “The Best of All Possible Worlds.”
I tweeted Greg Reitman today about last night’s showing of ROOTED in PEACE and he replied: Full house, engaged audience, lots of questions afterwards … Yes lots of people wanted to buy the DVD which will be available in the fall … That would be the plan and will have 20 minutes of extra scenes on the DVD. … Replying to a tweet I sent out a few days later about the film, Greg replied: It was a real homecoming I was truly surprised how the students responded and for some there were tears.