The Invocation (Emmanuel Itier, 2008): USA

Reviewed by Hrair Panossian. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2009.

I watched many documentaries during this film festival, but this was the best of them all. The director Emmanuel Itier, a resident in Santa Barbara actually, takes up the views on peace, God and war in a way that I never could have imagined, that made me think for quite a bit. Emmanuel visits many different countries and talks to people of different faiths and ideologies. We learn about religious clashes, who God is and how we can get closer to the most important question in the world, peace.

The Invocation deals with all of these questions very intimately. We first get to see what God is, which religion God belongs to and other questions involving the All-mighty. We get look inside the most big religions around the world, how they view God, and also the smaller religions such as Satanism. The second part is where we see how the religions and ideologies views on war and the current issue of “Terrorism”. Then the film takes a very spiritual turn and talks about how we as individuals must first find peace within ourselves before we try to reach the big issue of world peace. There are interviews with the religious leaders and several actors and actresses including the Dalai Lama, Jim Carrey and Mark Wahlberg.

I think that the director Emmanuel took a long time thinking and reading before making this movie. The deep impact it had on me, and other people in the theatre blew me away. I had to admit that it got too spiritual for me at some times, and had a deep religious meaning, but it spoke to me anyway, and that is what he stated and the Q&A afterwards too, which by the way was very interesting. For the most part, he interviewed them himself, but a lot of the interviews were from before. The irritating thing about the film was that it had no pauses, bad editing or poorly produced, i don’t know. You really need the ten or fifteen seconds to take a breather and really think about what is said in the movie before you can move on to the next question.

When I came out of Metro 4 I said to my friends that this was one of the best movies of the festival, but they all disagreed. To this day, I can’t figure it out. To me, it was simply the best.
If you have a chance to see it again, do it, for your own sake. I hope that you will be as touched by it as I was. Its various views on religion, peace and spirituality will blow you away, I swear!

About this entry