Poet Robert Bly stands out even among the celebrated, revolutionary generation of American artists who burst forth in the 1950s, and this loving documentary by Haydn Reiss (Rumi: Poet of the Heart
, MVFF 1998) charts his singular path from second son to taciturn father on a wintry Minnesota farm to radical anti-Vietnam War activist to wild man of the 1990s men’s movement. The bespectacled, white-haired Bly is every inch the politically and spiritually engaged mystic, seeking each moment’s fervid heart as well as the eternal, intuitive bedrock beneath our cultivated ideologies and “personas.” He was one of the first to translate Pablo Neruda, Rumi, and the ecstatic Sufi poets, and his work with Joseph Campbell—
exploring the metaphorical, psychological terrain of myth and ritual—led to the unexpected pop culture phenomenon of Iron John
. A confounding whirling dervish, Bly’s life embodies the quest for personal honesty and shared truth.
Featuring Coleman Barks, John Densmore, Jane Hirshfield, Martin Sheen, Gary Snyder, and more.
Co-presented by Buddhist Film Foundation