Closer than Close: a spiritual documentary
“A revelation and an inspiration.” ~ Oscar-winner Bruce Joel Rubin
This acclaimed spiritual documentary is spiritual cinema at its finest. Closer than Close investigates the spiritual search; the search for the essential questions of human life: is there an eternal part of ourselves? what has lasting meaning? where do we find certainty? Rather than philosophical discussion, it explores the possibility of living a life devoted to a search for answers, and the radical possibility that answers exist, unimaginably close.
The college and post-college years offer an extraordinary opportunity for millennials to explore the spiritual search. One remarkable afternoon, seven friends gathered on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, to discuss the search for meaning and depth in life, the doubts and distractions that keep them from searching intensely, the friendships they developed along the way, and the hope that keeps them looking. Their heartbreaking honesty resonates with all of us struck by the immensity of life and wondering what it’s all about.
Woven within this conversation, we hear from three longtime seekers who found answers to their questions. Much older, they share the story of their early dissatisfaction with life. For one, the realization that “no one really knew what was going on;” for another, having everything he wanted in life, yet finding “something” still missing; and for the third, the undeniable fact of death encountered in Vietnam combat. Each began a unique spiritual search, not following any one teacher or tradition, which eventually culminated in a realization of the true nature of their self and reality.
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-80 min, plus extras
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Praise for this Spiritual Documentary:
Janwillem Van de Wetering, author of the Zen classics The Empty Mirror, Glimpse of Nothingness, and Afterzen says:
Once the spark hits the haystack, ignorance starts burning quite nicely.
Good to see in these moving images that true hot search always flames
up somehow, even in an age of confusion, materialism and war.
Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up writes:
This is a powerful film about real people in search of real truth.
Not mystical Eastern gurus in their misty mountain caves, but people
living real lives in the modern world who seek out that which is
timeless and true.
The film is beautiful, thank you for making it available. I found it after stumbling upon the Hillbilly Sutra. My life has been enriched more than I can really say by both of these things.
Oscar-winner Bruce Joel Rubin, screenwriter of Ghost, Jacob’s Ladder, and My Life says:
CLOSER THAN CLOSE is a film about spiritual awakening in our every day lives. It demystifies the search for enlightenment by presenting us with awakened beings that walk simply, unannounced, and uncelebrated among us. It is, in its simplicity, a revelation and an inspiration.
John Kain, author of A Rare and Precious Thing: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Studying with a Spiritual Teacher writes:
Closer Than Close is a deftly crafted and poignant tale that weaves the stories of a handful of seekers bivouacked at various stages along the spiritual path with the straight-talk wisdom of three extraordinary individuals who have seemingly put an end to seeking. This juxtaposition creates a compelling resonance in which we can see (if the angle of light is just so) that the seekers and those that have stopped seeking are closer than we think. These are real stories of struggle and despair, friendship and hope, but above all, insight. Put this video on your list, better yet put it in your player and see what happens.
Jeff Goldblum, star of such films as The Fly, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and The Life Aquatic writes:
[A] lovely dvd. Thank you so much.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, award-winning poet, essayist, and director of the One River Foundation says:
Very impressed. The stories are compelling and carry a universal message. Watching the juxtaposition of these individuals as they speak from the differing perspectives of age and experience created an internal dialogue in me that carried the inquiry at the heart of the film home.
Dr. Miles Groth, Chair of Department of Psychology at Wagner College says:
I want to congratulate you on Closer than Close…. we are creatures that need a human way to the holy which another person
provides. Yes — I think this is what I find so engaging about your film. It emphasizes the ongoing need for existential validation — and that each of us should understand that and realize it.
Dr. Gene Thursby, Professor of Religion at the University of Florida writes:
The scenes of young people meeting with honesty and humility
together — along with the in-depth conversations with three
different exemplars who are older, seasoned, and experienced
explorers of the spiritual path — makes a powerful combination
that leaves one thinking, prepares one to find spiritual friends
and guides, and encourages a continuing exploration in cooperation
Beautiful and moving. If the truth about where we came from, where we’re going, and WTF we’re doing here matters to you, you should watch this. Honesty is an increasingly rare commodity in this world and that’s what you find here. These people aren’t trying to sell you on the latest trend in spirituality or trying to make a living from people’s need for clarity and answers about the human condition. They are simply sharing truth.
If you don’t watch this closely it will probably just seem like drivel. If you do watch it closely you might not survive the experience, and as unlikely as that sounds, that can be a very good thing.