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Joseph Campbell: The Hero's Journey

A Biographical Portrait
Joseph Campbell Foundation
February, 2007
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$26.98 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

And so Galahad decided that it would be a disgrace to set off on a quest with the other knights. Alone he would enter the dark forest where there was no path. This is the myth of the Hero’s Journey.

One of the greatest storytellers of our time, and arguably the greatest mythologist, Joseph Campbell spent most of his long, rich career explaining how ancient myths like the Hero’s Journey are relevant to modern life. In understanding the importance of myth as a vital, vibrant source of “mankind’s one great story,” Campbell inspired others to embark on a quest for the meaning of myth in their own lives. This biographical portrait, filmed shortly before his death in 1987, follows Campbell’s personal quest—a pathless journey of questioning, discovery, and ultimately of delight and joy in a life to which he said “Yes.

 During his childhood in New York City, Campbell was taken to see “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show. Young Joe was fascinated by the Native Americans in Cody’s performing troupe and eventually became obsessed with mythology. As he came to realize that myths worldwide had the same underpinnings, he also discovered his life’s work.

This documentary mentions Campbell’s affinity for the writings of James Joyce and Carl Jung, and there is ample footage of Campbell—in Hawaii, in New York, at Esalen—casual in flannel shirts, giving lectures salted with references to Buddhism, Christianity, classical mythology, St. Augustine, and the rituals of Plains Indians. In later life, Campbell is seen being honored at a banquet at which George Lucas rises to give him credit for helping to inspire the writing of Star Wars. This documentary is a very positive look at his writings, lectures, and personality.

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