Peaceful Warrior (2006)

Director – Victor Salva

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The Zen-like paradoxical title of this film was what first attracted me to this movie. And I must say that the film surpassed all my expectations. The film is an adaptation of a novel written by Dan Millman and is partly autobiographical. It tells the story of a highly competitive college gymnast who happens to meet a mysterious individual whom he calls Socrates, who teaches him to live in the moment, not through theories and discourses but by actual demonstration.

Dan is initially attracted to Socrates after seeing a miraculous feat. He wants to learn from Socrates what he thinks are tricks which he can use to excel in gymnastics. However, when he discovers that he is becoming different from his peers, he becomes skeptical and afraid of what Socrates is teaching him and leaves him. As he goes back to his old ways, Dan meets with an accident which breaks his leg and he is removed from his college team. Dan turns to Socrates again in desperation, and he now truly begins to learn and understand. Socrates encourages him to train again for gymnastics and to get back on the team.

This movie is one of the best teacher-pupil movies I have seen. Movies based on sporting themes are always entertaining and this one combines spirituality which makes it a treat to watch.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie

Socrates to Dan: You practice gymnastics. I practice everything.

​I believe that “living in the moment” does not mean ignoring the future or forgetting the past. It is not something to be learned by practice and effort. This living happens when you realize that all there is exists in the NOW.

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