Janie was very keen to see Walk With Me – she had heard great things about Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen master who is said to be the father of the modern mindfulness movement. Janie very much enjoyed some of his lectures on YouTube and thought the film would go deeper.
So much so that Janie was even prepared to schlep to the Curzon Bloomsbury on a Sunday evening, as that was the only slot that worked for us during the film’s opening weekend.
The film irritated us both for different reasons. In Janie’s case, because the film didn’t go deeper – in fact it didn’t really provide much insight into Thich Nhat Hanh’s ideas at all – it just showed his Plum Village community and a tour beyond…at a snail-like pace.
Mindfulness is one of those concepts I like in theory, but in practice – and I did try a mindfulness course few years ago and did stick it out – I found mindfulness itself a bit irritating.
Add to that general irritation an infeasibly slow movie, the condescending tones of Benedict Cumberbach and a young man sitting next to me who seemed to have brought a lifetime supply of noisy nosh into the cinema with him…
…you get my point.
For me, the only interesting part of the movie was when the monks go on tour to the USA, so you see the slow-moving, mindful monks up against the no holds barred, fast pace of New York City.
Janie missed much of the USA tour part of the movie because she started nodding off at that juncture.
I had done my nodding off and missing chunks of the movie during the earlier, unbelievably slow passages.
Below is the trailer:
You might wish to judge for yourselves, but Janie’s advice would be to click through to some of Thich Naht Hanh’s mini lectures on YouTube – e.g. this one – click here – rather than waste your time with the movie.