Summary : What is the meaning of our existence? What is the soul? What are the powers of the mind, of consciousness? What is our relationship to nature? By asking these questions, the film invites us to discover universal wisdom through encounters with shamans, healers, yogis, but also philosophers and doctors. From the plains of Mongolia to the forests of the Amazon, this film takes us much further than we could have imagined.

Critical : Arnaud Riou and Maud Baignères undertake in this documentary what perhaps many spectators would like to know: a form of alignment between soul and matter, and an appeasement in the face of the cruelty of the world. The directors then engage in a world tour of spiritual beliefs, such as shamanism, Buddhism, or other practices that attempt to reconcile Man with Nature. Etugen therefore appears as a necessary, powerful film, in a rapidly changing universe where, little by little, capitalism is getting the better of the Earth’s resources for the sole benefit of a selfish humanity eager for ever more consumption.

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In fact, the documentary does not add much to what we already know about this type of philosophical or spiritual practice. The authors take care to support their remarks with testimonies from scientists or experienced doctors, as if it were useful to legitimize the need of each human being to find in themselves a deep meaning to existence and to connect with the elements. natural. Sometimes, the directors add so much in the use of aerial music, grandiloquent images of exotic landscapes, that they almost cast doubt on their project of describing spiritual practices which are embodied in a harmonious relationship between the spirit and matter. We almost end up wondering about the honesty of the demonstration, particularly when the camera dwells on filming characters dressed in traditional costumes and indulging in rituals whose strangeness is reinforced by slow motion.

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We understand very quickly that the central issue for the directors is to convince the dubious viewer of the need for such spiritual practices. However, their desire to show how these practices are embodied in very different regions of the world poses the risk of a certain mannerism in the point of view. In reality, the documentarians film encounters that look like stereotypes in a symphony of smiles, immense landscapes and extravagant colorful costumes. It is even feared that the need to convince the spectators is such that they themselves have staged these exotic dances.

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The interest of the film is indisputable. Alas, the mannerism pouring into an assumed culturalism harms a statement that ends up getting lost in great spiritual generalities. However, it is certain that this film will find its audience with people who are already convinced and committed to this type of practice.

Etugen – Arnaud Riou, Maud Baignères – review