Free the Mind
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Free the Mind

A doctor wonders whether meditation and yoga can help ease PTSD symptoms among veterans.

DIRECTED BY PHIE AMBO (Denmark, Rule Breakers and Innovators)


Thursday, May 2, 6:30 p.m.
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)

Friday, May 3, 6 p.m.
ROM Theatre (100 Queen’s Park)

Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles St West)

“The brain is the most complicated organ in the universe. We’ve only taken the first very, very small baby step. We’re just beginning this journey,” says Dr. Richard Davidson in Free The Mind, a documentary that follows him as he tests an unconventional theory.

With approximately 10 billion neural connections, the human brain is a vastly complex—and, for most of us, deeply mysterious—lump of grey matter. So is it conceivable that a brain could be rewired by sheer will? Davidson thinks it’s a possibility. The film follows him as he studies the effects of yoga and meditation on American war veterans and children who suffer from post-traumatic stress and attention deficit disorders, respectively.

Save for the inexplicable animation sprinkled throughout, this doc is both touching and interesting. While getting drawn into the lives of the army vets and kids, the viewer can see Davidson’s theory come to life. By the end, it’s hard to shake the notion that we might be able to change our brains for the better, and that the techniques for doing so are relatively simple.

See All Hot Docs 2013 Reviews