home  /  catalog  /  about us  /  contact  
  An International Film Circuit presentation
of a Danish Documentary Production

“Artistically crafted.
Riveting. Engrossing.”
– Filmmaker Magazine

host a local screening


A film by Phie Ambo

Denmark • 2012 • 80 mins • 16:9 • 5.1 Stereo • NR • In English
Digital Formats Only

Facebook logo Twitter logo

link to official website

  ::  See the post screening Q&A at NYC’s Rubin Museum of Art  
  ::  watch the trailer  
  ::  find a theater near you  
  ::  press material / photographs to download  
  ::  find out more about the research at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds

What is consciousness, really? How does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices?

Professor Richard J. Davidson, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, took the Dalai Lama’s advice to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness. Dr. Davidson, who was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2006, did just that, and the results of his studies at Wisconsin’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds are portrayed in the fascinating new documentary, FREE THE MIND.

By studying the practices of Tibetan monks and other meditative techniques, Dr. Davidson found that it is actually possible to rewire the brain through meditation and mental training exercises, and he has dedicated himself to applying this discovery to improve the lives of people throughout the world.

Dr. Davidson recently has been working with young children dealing with ADHD and anxiety in school settings, as well as American war veterans struggling with PTSD, in an attempt to discover whether mind-focused techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can ease their pain, relax their nervous systems, improve their attention and help them become happier and more peaceful.

Can Professor Richard Davidson make a difference? Can he free these people from their troubled existences and help them lead ordinary lives? Free the Mind follows three test subjects – one school-aged boy and two veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – on a daring journey into the deepest recesses of the human mind.


“Grips your heart from the first moment.
...a great and beautiful film. Visually Brilliant.”
– Film Comment

“Heartfelt… with a painterly appreciation of the human face.
Director Phie Ambo approaches these subjects with an almost profound sense of empathy.”
– Rob Humanick, Slant

“A beautiful and compelling film.
The familiarity captured is remarkable, as if there were no cameras present. It captures the sense of confinement that fear brings and the spaciousness that mindfulness promises. It lets us know in a compelling and gentle way that mindfulness can help with fear.”
– Dr. Arnie Kozak, Beliefnet

“My main interest is promoting ethics without touching religion. Ethics are universal values. We must find a way to promote the basic human values in a secular way without touching religion. In order to do this, the scientific findings are very, very convincing and Richard’s work is very helpful in this field. Sometimes I call him guru of science!”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama


(c) 2005-2013 ws://design