​New documentary featuring Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh to hit US theaters

English actor Bennedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the film’s narration

Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is seen in the documentary ‘Walk with Me’. Photo: Facebook/Walk With Me

Walk with Me is the title of a new documentary film on Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh set to hit U.S. cinemas next week.

The movie is expected to take viewers on a cinematic journey into the world of a monastic community that practices the art of mindfulness.

British directors Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh spent three years shooting the film in Plum Village, a Buddhist meditation center in Dordogne, southern France, which was co-founded by Thich Nhat Hanh.

English actor Bennedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the film’s narration.

The place is home to a community of Buddhist monks and Zen practitioners in France.

The documentary captures the monastic lives of monks and nuns in Plum Village, as well as Buddhist Zen Master Hanh’s wisdom on mindfulness as illustrated in his writings from the younger years.

British directors Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh interview a monk at Plum Village Monastery in southern France. Photo: Facebook/Walk With Me
British directors Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh interview a monk at Plum Village Monastery in southern France. Photo: Facebook/Walk With Me

The film ix executed in a calm and rhythmic pace that masterfully depicts the essence of Zen, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper critic Anh Nguyen.

Director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who won two Academy Awards for The Revenant and Birdman, described the documentary as “silent and pure,” containing “images and sound that translate the forgotten conciseness, [putting it] right there on the screen,” during his exclusive interview with Variety.

“I loved how [the filmmakers] capture and convey, cinematically, the sometimes inexplicable state of being awakened,” Inarritu was quoted as saying. “It gives a hint of that quiet voice so underrated today and ironically so needed in this time of fear and ignorance.”

The Mexican film director described Thich Nhat Hanh as “one of the deepest and wisest” people in the world.

Plum Village monks and directors of ‘Walk with Me’ appear onstage at the film’s world premiere at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, the U.S. Photo: Facebook/Walk With Me
Plum Village monks and directors of ‘Walk with Me’ appear onstage at the film’s world premiere at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, the U.S. Photo: Facebook/Walk With Me

Walk with Me made its world premiere on March 15 at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and has had limited U.S. screenings since August.

Thich Nhat Hanh, born in central Vietnam’s Hue City, is among the pioneering Buddhist leaders in the popularization of the religion on Western soil.

Hanh is also a novelist, poet, religion researcher and social activist with over 100 published books in both Vietnamese and English.

He returned to Vietnam last month to seek rest after recovering from brain hemorrhage in 2014.

The international trailer of ‘Walk with Me’. Clip: YouTube

The theatrical poster of ‘Walk with Me’. Photo: Gathr Films
The theatrical poster of ‘Walk with Me’. Photo: Gathr Films

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