HEAL Documentary Is Coming To San Francisco
By Nikita Mehta
No plans for this weekend? We got you covered! After 11 sold out shows in Los Angeles, HEAL, a documentary about the power of mind over the body, is coming to SF! Featuring Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and many more, this film looks at our ability to heal our bodies through our beliefs and emotions. Directed by Kelly Noonan and produced by Adam Schomer (the same amazing light that brought us The Highest Pass), HEAL will be playing at the Presidio Theater from November 3rd- 9th.
In order to get you hyped for this amazing experience, SF Yoga Mag sat down with Adam to talk about finding his calling, healing on a larger level and why we all need to see this film!
How did yoga and film making intersect in your life? Tell us about the path that led you to making this film.
It’s a nice full circle path that continues on winding its way. At age 15, I read Chopra’s book Ageless Body Timeless Mind which fused the scientific, including quantum physics, with the metaphysical. And for a guy that was very into math and science, it very much appealed to me and put logic to many things I knew intuitively from athletics and from nature, i.e. the zone and connection and peace. I found meditation at 18 and dove deeply into it during college. After college I opted against interviewing for engineering jobs and went about listening to a desire to continue playing soccer at a higher level and to learn Spanish. I’ll spare you the details, but I have continued to listen to key pivot points. Film started calling at age 28 in Michigan, doing what I consider the yoga of comedy, improv. I then left the comfort and success in Michigan around 12 years ago and set out for LA. Within six months found myself in India meeting my guru. I returned to India 6 months later, and then again 6 months after that - this time to study with him one-on-one. It was clear to me that I wanted to work on who I truly am before building upon a false foundation. It was during that one-on-one training that I decided to focus more on writing, directing, producing (rather than comedy/acting) and it was also at that time that Anand (my guru) invited me to ride motorcycles over the highest road in the world. I thought motos were stupid and dangerous, but to be in the Himalayas at ancient sacred sites with my teacher was enough to just say yes. So, not knowing how to ride, we embarked and decided to make it a documentary. I didn’t want to shoot on a Handycam, I wanted to do it right. To give people a beautiful view into this land of wild horses running at 15,000 feet and into the world of a Tibetan oracle. So that movie, The Highest Pass, is what began my real niche of delivering wisdom in entertaining and beautifully shot ways. So, jumping forward to my 5th project, HEAL, it was a perfect fit - It had the science of mind and body; it had Chopra who got me going in all of this; it had the biggest adventure you can imagine, that being following someone facing disease and thriving to heal, and Kelly wanted to shoot it in a beautiful and entertaining way. So, HEAL is really Kelly Noonan Gores’ baby and vision. She brought me in a couple years back to help her birth this film from start to finish, and we’ve worked hard to provide the platform for her directorial talents and intuitions to thrive. I am so proud of what our team has done and I loved learning more about healing, which I feel is a subset of the undercurrent I have followed in my life; meditation, spirit, truth..
Tell us about the inspiration for this film.
I’ll answer for Kelly first - she had been drawn to this for 10 years, having read books by Bruce Lipton and Marianne Williamson and Anita Moorjani. Then a couple years ago she was ready to make it a reality.
For me, I knew Kelly’s intention was impact. She wanted to help people shift their paradigm of health and empower them to heal. In essence, there is way too much illness going on nowadays, so there must be another way to approach how we heal. And, there is.
As I said above, this subject matter of healing is a natural subset of meditation, quantum physicals/oneness, and our overall search for truth.
Do you think there is a calling at this time of political unrest and heightened violence for the yoga community to provide the framework for larger healing?
There is always a calling for those who are self-aware and empowered to continue to not only develop their self-practice but to share it with others, to put the wisdom into physical form and action. Community is important on a spiritual path and it is ultra-important on the healing journey. There has always been political unrest and violence - and now that we are even more aware of it, it is our duty to first address the violence we have inside toward ourselves and loved ones.
That’s as political as I get, because I have family members that are simply wonderful humans that don’t share my political views and I need not put them or myself in a political box or definition. But yes, there is a calling in general for larger healing and to reflect on the outer violence in the world and consider where we might need to heal ourselves.
I believe that HEAL is empowering people to look at their own symptoms as wake up calls, to look at our emotions and stress and realize that it has an effect. This film is calling us to look at ourselves and give compassion instead of fault.
How does healing of ourselves and our own minds inform healing on a global scale?
But at its simplest it makes sure that things we fight for and get behind with our full prana, are coming from a very pure and sound desire. That will only better the world.
Why is it important for people to see this movie?
There are 133 million people in America that have chronic illnesses with no cure. When I say no cure, I mean from a western medicine point of view. That is 40% of America that has no answer and sometimes no hope of anything other than managing an illness all their life. That is not acceptable for “modern” medicine. And the reason it’s not is because medicine needs to catch up to actual modern science and physics which proves that thoughts, emotions, perceptions/beliefs do affect the body. It is a must that any person going through illness or with a loved one going through illness be given the awareness that there is more in control than we have been raised to believe. Western medicine does miracles. But western medicine is not always the solution and is often guessing and giving us prognosis that do not support the natural healer within. In essence, we will all deal with illness and we all deserve to know how much power we have. It’s backed by science and it really should be integrated into our mass paradigm of how we view health and raise our children to view health. This should be the film anyone sees when approaching illness.