Films We Like presents
A film by Jamie Catto
Opens Toronto & Vancouver on Friday, September 6, 2019
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema & Vancity
“Everyone’s busy being somebody.” – Ram Dass
“In 1967 the noted Harvard psychedelic explorer Dr. Richard Alpert was transformed into Ram Dass by a Hindu guru in the foothills of the Himalayas. He then came back to the States with a vision of spirituality that transformed hippie America. Now the message of this 87-year-old teacher who keeps images of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump on his altar has taken on a profound new resonance”.
-Will Welch, GQ, Nov 2018
How does one lose the attachment to being somebody and become nobody? How does one expand outward from a life full of ego and self-interest into a space of empathy, compassion and unity? Director Jamie Catto seeks answers to these timeless questions in “BECOMING NOBODY”, a documentary look at the extraordinary life of Ram Dass, whose spiritual teachings, countless books (Be Here Now 1971; Grist for the Mill 1976; Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Death and Dying 2018), and association with Timothy Leary vaulted him to prominence in the 60’s and 70’s.
Becoming Nobody is the quintessential portal to Ram Dass’ life and teachings: whether as Dr. Richard Alpert, the eminent Harvard psychologist, or as Ram Dass who serves as a bridge between Eastern and Western philosophies, he has defined a generation of inner explorers and seekers of truth and wisdom. Through his turns as scion of an eminent Jewish family from Boston, rock-star Harvard psychologist, counter-culture rascally adventurer, Eastern holy man, stroke survivor and compassionate caregiver, Ram Dass has worn many hats on his journey, the narrative of which is revealed in this film.
In Becoming Nobody historic clips balance an engaging conversation with director Jamie Catto. The film captures a loving man full of joy, wit, honesty and wisdom, at ease in conversation while sharing his considerable pains and pleasures. The life experiences, including a devastating stroke in 1998 that have freed him from the attachments of his ‘somebody-ness’ have transformed him into the radiant soul who now at the age of 88 yr inspires a new generation.
In 1988, a 20-year old aspiring London filmmaker and musician, Jamie Catto, heard a cassette of Ram Dass after attending a yoga class. In 1994, he met Ram Dass at a UK retreat and Jamie was never the same person again.
“Becoming Nobody is my homage to Ram Dass, both the teacher and friend, who turned me onto my spiritual path, directing me into truth, humanity and above all, humour which allowed me to navigate my own healing journey from deep trauma to empathic helper.
Ram Dass said that he came back from India with a jewel to share - I hope this film is my way of making sure that jewel has a strong life and trajectory long after Ram Dass has left this plane.”
LOVE SERVE REMEMBER FOUNDATION and the continued work of Ram Dass
The Love Serve Remember Foundation is dedicated to preserving and continuing the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass. The foundation facilitates the continuation of these teachings through online courses, blog content, films, podcasts, social network channels, and collaborative projects with conscious artists and musicians.
Love Serve Remember launched the Be Here Now Network to support today’s rapidly expanding new generation of spiritual seekers with accessible platforms to propel these teachings into the future. One of the most important things to Ram Dass over these many years is to share what he received from his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, on his first trip to India. It was through this intent that the Be Here Now Network was born.
The Be Here Now Network offers weekly doses of digestible Eastern philosophy from a range of spiritual teachers in the form of mindfulness podcasts, articles and videos. The “Be Here Now” adage is an important aphorism from Ram Dass and serves as a mantra for those on their own path towards self-discovery. In addition the Love Serve Remember Foundation sponsors retreats led by Ram Dass and featuring other esteemed spiritual teachers on Maui
Running time: 81 minutes
Media Contact: Virginia Kelly - V Kelly & Associates