Akhim (Brothers) is a film by Igaal Niddam. The story of the film revolves around two brothers, one of whom was in America studying at the university and has eventually become a Rabbi, and the other raised a family in Israel. The film is very interesting in terms of identity, politics, and the Jewish state. Ian considers himself an Israeli but not a Jew, since he is not a religious man. His brother however, is a Rabbi but he somehow does not belong in Israel. He gave a monologue saying “I do not belong here, I had more freedom in America.”
In order to provide a little bit of a context to the story; the two brothers did not see each other since they were young boys. Ian had to leave his brother and mother behind so that they won’t be killed. And the young boy of 9 years old had to take care of his mother. He decided to join a Rabbinique school after his mother passed away. Later he decided to find his brother who has disappeared.
The film has succeeded in providing an alternative image of the “Jewish State.” Via this film, one gets a new perspective about Israel.
Cloud Path: Journey of a Wandering Monk is a 53-minute documentary film (2006). The documentary introduces us to the spiritual journey of an American man who converted to Buddhism. He is originally from a Catholic wealthy family. He studied comparative religions at Harvard University, which proves that he is part of an intellectual society. The number of American Buddhists has reached a million, according to the film.
Hyon Gak, his Buddhist name, moved to Korea to become a monk. For him, Buddhism is not a religion, but it’s a discovery of the nature of this world. The film also emphasizes that Buddhism is about leaving the material world, as Hyon did. Asking questions about the meaning of life and existence paved the way for Hyon’s internal search and therefore journey into discovering his inner self.
It reminds me of Sufism in a Moroccan Muslim context. In the sense that it is considered an inner journey to discovering one’ self, and “What Am I?”