• Director: Franz Reichle
  • Country: Germany
  • Year: 2005

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Monte Grande combines interviews and rare archival footage to explore the life and legacy of Chilean biologist, philosopher, and neuroscientist Francisco Varela. After becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in the 1970s, Varela became an integral figure in the burgeoning dialogue between modern science and Tibetan Buddhism, resulting in his cofounding of the Mind and Life institute with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and entrepreneur Adam Engle. The documentary combines narrative accounts and reflections from Varela, his family, and leading scientists, friends and thinkers, including the Dalai Lama and Heinz von Foerster, the father of cybernetics. The result is a meaningful integration of Varela’s innovative ideas and ambitions with the self-effacing humanist, lover, and family man behind them. Varela spent his life building bridges: between Western science and Eastern wisdom, neurobiology and philosophy, abstract theory and day-to-day life.

Through the rest of the month, director Franz Reichle will be available to answer questions about the making of the film. Post a comment below and he will get back to you. You can also read his statement about filming Monte Grande here.