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Connor

Astral City: A Spiritual Journey (2010)

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Connor    886
Connor

The original title of this movie is Nosso Lar, which translates from Portuguese to 'Our Home'. It is one of my favorites. I have posted about it before, a couple years ago, but that was on old TLE and I would love to infect more people with this work of art.

Adapted from the novel of the same name channeled via automatic writing by renowned Brazilian spiritist medium Chico Xavier, Nosso Lar is the story of Andre Luiz - a prominent doctor who lived in Rio de Janeiro during the late 19th/early 20th Century. The story begins at a peculiar place: Andre waking up in the Lower Astral after his death due to damages done to his body from a lifetime of heavy indulgement in vices and spiritual neglect. Pieces of Andre's physical life are revealed in flashbacks, but most of the film takes place on the Astral Plane. It paints a picture of an afterlife without gods or angels, but populated with 'normal' people working tirelessly towards the evolution of Humanity in one way or another. Very similar to the afterlife depicted in 'What Dreams May Come', but even less distorted.

One of my biggest issues with What Dreams May Come is its depiction of Hell and Suicide. 'What Dreams' portrays Hell as a more or less permanent tortorous residence for those who commit amoral acts in life. I say 'more or less' because although the movie establishes that it is possible for people to return from Hell, this is implied to be EXTREMELY rare. While these are certainly distortions of the truth, I understand them from a writing perspective - it drives up the stakes and demonstrates the sheer intensity of love shared between the two primary characters. What Dreams May Come is a love story, after all, while Nosso Lar is a story of spiritual awakening. Completely different theme. Hell in Nosso Lar exists as the temporary actualization of the deceased's state of mind upon death - in essence, if you wake up in Hell, it is because you were already there when you were living.
After his death, Andre is 'stranded' for many years in the Lower Astral (hell) by his lacking any form of meaningful spiritual awareness or ability. In physical life he never focused in that direction. Only when he begs for help does his awakening begin. Upon being rescued from Hell by friends, Andre finds himself in the hospital of what appears to be a bustling city and must decide what to do with the next chapter of his existence.

WATCH IT. You'll love it. It is beautiful.
Also, take the portrayal of the afterlife with a grain of salt. While it seems very close to the truth to me, I think it applies more to the experience of Baby, Young, and Mature Souls. Not much in the film, or in Chico Xavier's novel, resembles the sort of afterlife activies Michael has described for Old Souls.

 

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AnnaD    2,372
AnnaD

Thanks, Connor. I will look for this. 

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SharvariJ    511
SharvariJ

What Dreams May Come makes me cry every time I watch it. I read that they built up the Hell as a forever-place for the movie; in the novel there is a particular period of time that she has to spend there before she can go to Heaven. I'll look into this movie for sure! Thanks, Connor!

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Ingun    2,561
Ingun

I watched it some weeks ago, and I just loved it. Such a beautiful movie. So thanks for making me aware of it here. I have almost never watched movies twice, but this one I could watch again.

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