The Holy Mountain (1973)

I have no idea how to properly convey how important this movie is to me.

Directed, written, produced, co-scored, co-edited, set designed, costumed and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky, this is a film that reduces me to tears at times if I even think about it.

Words will fail to explain what this means. This is an absolute movie, one that can only be explained by those that have experienced it, meditated on it and have been changed by it.

The story comes from Ascent of Mount Carmel by John of the Cross and Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal, an unfinished book that is nearly all allegory. The end — which is not an end but a beginning — is what Jodorowsky felt was the proper way to finish the story.

I find it hard to watch all of this film in one sitting, as the bursts of images unlock such deep emotions within me that I can only fully explain months after the watch is over.

Last year, I went through a professional divorce. In an attempt at trying to mend fences and rebuild the relationship, I gave away my blu ray of this film. It was, quite honestly, my most prized possession. It was an attempt to divest myself of material objects and destroy my ego, to lay myself bare and show that I was ready to continue the journey that we had started together. “I want you to have this,” I barely choked out. “This is my heart.”

I don’t know if my former co-founder ever watched this film. The fact that it never came up again told me what I needed to know. I’ve grown past this pain, which nearly ruined my love of film.

Instead, I have decided to move on, to take my own journey. The loss of this film was just the loss of a blu ray. Its lessons have not disappeared, the power that it has over me has not grown dim. If anything, I have reflected on my own path up and down the mountain and found that I have not regretted a step.

Please find this movie for yourself.

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