The challenge of compressing more than half a century of faith, hope, love and inspiration into a 70-minute documentary is an example of bold co-creation by many whose lives have been profoundly touched by the enduring magic of Findhorn. Geoff Dalglish praises it here.
The Film ‘The Story So Far’, which is available for sale as a DVD or digital download at www.moviolaproductions.com is ambitious in the scope it covers, taking us on a remarkable journey from November 1962 to present times.
Directed and edited by Lorenz Gramann, and produced by Maria Craig, it offers penetrating insights and is spiced with rare archival footage as we share the stories of community members young and old, as well as hearing the views of spiritual leaders and visionary presenters who have come to know the community and ecovillage intimately.
For many it has been life changing.
Robin Alfred, an executive coach and organisational consultant, was a criminal justice social worker when he signed up for Experience Week and found himself in a circle with 15 others. “I had an experience of what I would call unconditional love. Suddenly I felt a heart connection with these people and I wrote in my journal that life will never be the same.”
For him one of the major successes of the community is that it not only survives, but thrives. “Many communities start and die within a few years and Findhorn is still growing, still vibrant. Look around you: the built environment is astonishing.”
Acclaimed environmentalist and writer Jonathon Porritt says: “The story for me is really what Findhorn has done to provide a bastion of integrity against a world which has given in increasingly to a materialist febrile surge of self-indulgence.”
For Ana Rhodes, former chair of the Findhorn Foundation’s management group, it is as simple and as complex as trying to get to the heart of what it means to live a meaningful life.
Often during the telling of the story we meet Dorothy Maclean, the sole surviving co-founder who is in her 95th year and remains a major source of inspiration. In the 1960s she famously communicated with the overlighting intelligence of the natural world, and received messages about how best to create the legendary garden that grew up around the Original Caravan. “I think the major achievement is in making people in the world realise what is really important and what the truth is – love is a powerful thing and it’s not just words that sound nice and pretty. It’s real,” she insists.
Spiritual teacher Caroline Myss, who is a regular visitor and popular presenter, says: “I can’t say enough about it. I love this place.” She adds that the community “would have imploded upon itself if Eileen’s guidance wasn’t authentic.”
Many report experiencing a palpable and positive energy on entering both venues at The Park and Cluny Hill, among them Richard Olivier, the head of Olivier Mythodrama who co-focalised the recent global gathering called New Story Summit, Inspiring Pathways for Our Planetary Future.
The documentary explores what attracted people to the community in the first place, what it means to them, and how they see it evolving and unfolding.
Watching the film is a good way to understand what our community is all about, and will also be appreciated by those whose lives it has touched.
Thousands visit each year in person and many more via the website, although the challenge remains to make it accessible to an ever-wider audience of seekers who are interested in a different and more sustainable way of living together with all life on Earth.
Christiana Figueres, the United Nations executive secretary who recently addressed the community on urgent issues of climate change, says: “We all need to continue working together to make this kind of community the norm and not the exception.”
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The beautiful weaving between colourful images and words takes the viewer on a journey from the inception of the Foundation in 1962 and follows the various stages of its transformation to the present date. A feature of the film is rare archive footage and an exclusive and heart warming interview with one of the founders, Dorothy McLean.