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Doing Time, Doing Vipassana (1997)

4.8 ·
4

This is the story of an ancient meditation technique named Vipassana, which shows people how to take control of their lives and channel them toward their own good.

It is the story of a strong woman named Kiran Bedi, the former Inspector General of Prisons in New Delhi, who strove to transform the notorious Tihar Prison and turn it into an oasis of peace.

But most of all it is the story of prison inmates who underwent profound change, and who realized that incarceration is not the end but possibly a fresh start toward an improved and more positive life. These people have shown that reform can work if it is self-reform. Their success has been so dramatic that recently the Indian Government decided to apply Vipassana in all the country's prisons. Other countries are becoming interested as well.

The filmmakers spent about two weeks inside Tihar Central Prison in New Delhi and Baroda Jail in the Indian state of Gujarat.

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21