Since the wild success of The Secret, dozens, if not hundreds, of filmmakers have been approaching investors and producers, claiming to have the "next" version of The Secret. At the Spiritual Cinema Circle, we have seen the filmed results of some of these attempts. Trying to imitate someone else’s success, however, is where Hollywood itself has gone so awry in the last decade or so. There will be no "next" version of The Secret, any more than The Secret itself was the "next" version of What The Bleep Do We Know?!
The next wonderful Spiritual Cinema documentary about the human condition can only come from a filmmaker’s unique vision and passion, having nothing whatsoever to do with precedent.
Enter Song of Songs, filmmaker Chris Brickler’s debut film. Passionate, mesmerizing, humorous and touching, Song of Songs is a paean to love in all its wonderful, messy, and complex glory. In addition, Brickler’s background as a musician serves the film beautifully, as the music throughout is both haunting and utterly romantic. Members of the Spiritual Cinema Circle will receive this film as part of the February 2008 Spiritual Cinema Circle DVD collection [www.spiritualcinemacircle.com].
What distinguishes Songs from so many other films is its compassion, love and empathy for those who fall in love and then find themselves "bewitched, bothered, and bewildered" by the every day challenges of being in love.
The delights at the center of the film are the filmmaker’s grandparents, who have been married for 65 years, a feat utterly unthinkable even 50 or so years ago. Heck, people didn’t even live that long until very recently, let alone be married for almost seven decades. Put another way, the senior Bricklers got hitched just after America entered World War II and three years before the first atomic bomb was dropped. How do you manage to stay married, and, by the way, very happily married, through all the changes that 65 years can bring? Well, just ask the Bricklers and they’ll tell you, with insight, compassion, and a healthy dose of humor. One of the most touching moments in the film occurs when Mrs. Brickler (now in her late eighties) gets a very loving kiss from Mr. Brickler, after gently chiding him to do so.
Most of the people interviewed for the film are folks just like all of us who are either in various stages of relationships, or are alone and looking for their next partner. The film gently underscores the point that love is, to all of us, an enduring mystery that reveals more of itself every day both in our interactions with others and also in our solitary moments of reflection. As revealed in the film, we are always searching for those answers, knowing full well that each answer inevitably leads to the next question.
Interspersed amidst the various love relationships that are explored are the loving, wise and insightful observations of relationship guru Harville Hendrix, whose understanding of the human search for love is nothing less than inspiring. One of the most moving moments in the film is when Hendrix observes that many people run away from relationships when they get challenging, when the going gets very tough. Ironically, Hendrix says, it’s the people who persevere during those dark times who later discover that things get very dark just before they’re about to get so much better.
It is that sense of optimism and hope that permeates the entire film. Made by a filmmaker who obviously feels a great sense of both camaraderie and compassion with the people in his film, Song of Songs comes along just as we celebrate Valentine’s Day and we at the Spiritual Cinema Circle are honored to present its world premiere in our February collection of films. See it with someone you love…or want to love…or have loved. And save a special place in your heart for Grandmother and Grandfather Brickler. If there were a contest for America’s grandparents, I think the Bricklers might win in a landslide…and I for one would love to see their victory speech.