by Miriam Knight April 28, 2015
When director Marie-Rose Phan-le sought to chronicle the healing practices and traditions of indigenous cultures around the globe, she embarked on a journey that went beyond mere documentary filmmaking. In “Talking Story,” the filmmaker has captured rare footage of healers plying their craft in such remote locations as Peru, Vietnam, Nepal, India, China and Hawaii. But, in the process of telling their stories, she also discovered her own calling as an emerging healing practitioner, carrying on the traditions of these gifted forerunners and learning much about herself. However, in documenting the work of these remarkable souls (not to mention her own destiny), Phan-le has focused on the subject more anecdotally than substantively, showing what they do but providing little about why they do it. Viewers thus witness these healers carrying out their callings in extensive detail, but the finished product provides few insights into the philosophies underlying their disciplines and practices. The result is a mixed offering that whets the appetite but clearly leaves audiences hungry for more.