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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Health > Social > History > Political > The Knowledge Of Healing (Documentary)

The Knowledge Of Healing (Documentary)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: B-



Usually when you have DVDs about health and medicine, they are special interest titles, but Franz Reichle’s The Knowledge of Healing (1996) is a documentary and much more about Tibetan Medicine and how it barely survived the ethnic cleansing and torture, massacre and outright genocide of native Tibetan followers of Buddhism by Chinese troops.  Besides the print basis for this field of study, we see it in action and it runs all the way up to one woman who seeks healing from ugly torture at the hands of Chinese troops.


Before that startling moment, which is kept towards the end of the nearly 90 minutes, we see all the ideas and very natural, organic approaches to heal the body in ways Western Science needs to look into much more quickly than they are.  The film does not say that one way or the other works, but instead shows one of the ultimate alternative medicine options and open up new possibilities.  After all, neither has eliminated all illnesses and it could not be as controversial as stem cell research unless you are anti-Religious or anti-Buddhist.


The letterboxed 1.66 X 1 filmed image is a bit aged with slightly dull colors, some scratches here and there, plus some detail and depth limits.  Cinematographer Pio Corradi does a fine job of capturing the look and culture, which allows us to get personal with the interviewees in addition to what the director achieves.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is simple stereo at best, so don’t expect Martin Scorsese’s Kundun in the sonics department.  Still, this is a playable combination that does not get much in the way of the content, but needs to be seriously preserved and restored for future generations.


Extras include an anamorphically enhanced 16 x 9/1.78 X 1 healing ceremony with ritual instruments, additional piece with The Dalai Lama running just over 6 minutes and 9.5 minutes-long piece with His personal Doctor, Tenzin Choedrak in the same format, seven biographies (six of the subjects, one of the director), trailers for four other First Run Features and a timeline of Tibetan medicine that is shockingly extensive and have run on for many centuries!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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