18057Movie: 'Astral City: A Spiritual Journey'
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MOVIE: 'ASTRAL CITY: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY'
Based on the best selling book "Nosso Lar: An Account of Life in a
Spirit Colony in the World of Spiritis" by medium Chico Xavier, "Astral
City: A Spiritual Journey" tells the story of Andre Luiz, a successful
doctor who experiences an enlightening spiritual awakening after his
death. When he wakes up in the spiritual world, he embarks on a new
journey of self-discovery and transformation, from his first days in a
dimension of pain and suffering, until when he is rescued and taken to
the spiritual Astral City. With magnificent art direction and special
effects that have never been seen before in a Brazilian production, and
featuring an amazing score by composer Philip Glass, the film brings to
the screen what life is like at the Astral City that hovers in the upper
layers of the Earth's atmosphere.
Watch a movie trailer and an interview that AfterLifeTV's Bob Olson did
with the director of the film on Pulse:
Wikipedia on Astral City
Wikipedia on Chico Xavier
Watch the movie on Amazon Instant Video
Watch the movie on iTunes
Order of DVD copy of the movie via Amazon
Nosso Lar: An Account of Life in a Spirit Colony in the World of
CHICO XAVIER STILL MOVES MILLIONS
By Nelza Oliveira
April 16, 2010
With 586,600 viewers during its three-day premier earlier this month, it
was watched in the theater by more people than any Brazilian movie in 15
In 10 days, 1.36 million had packed theaters to watch it.
No, it’s not Avatar.
It’s Chico Xavier.
For 35 years, Francisco Cândido da Silva Xavier -- known as Chico Xavier
-- had welcomed hundreds of thousands seeking spiritual counseling in to
his humble home in Pedro Leopoldo, in the state of Minas Gerais.
Now, he’s drawing them to theaters.
The movie, directed by Daniel Filho, celebrates Chico’s centennial, as
on April 2 he would have turned 100.
Chico died in 2002, and he was revered so highly his viewing drew a line
of mourners that stretched four kilometers (2.4 miles), with 40 people
passing by his coffin per minute.
Brazil’s homage to the legendary spiritist’s work will continue later
this year with four more films -- Nosso lar (Our home), E a vida
continua (And life goes on), As cartas (The letters) and As mães de
Chico (The mothers of Chico).
A special stamp, already being sold by the Brazilian postal service,
also is part of the celebration.
Spiritism, the philosophical and religious movement Chico Xavier
followed, also is the theme of a television novela Escrito nas Estrelas
(Written in the stars), which began April 12 and also inspired the TV
series A Cura (The Cure), set to debut later this year by TV Globo.
Chico’s life is fit for TV and the silver screen.
He lost his mother at the age of five. Since his father couldn’t afford
to raise his nine children, he gave them to godfathers and friends.
Chico suffered in the hands of his godmother, who even stuck a fork in
his belly so he would be healed from seeing dead people. He claims his
visions began at age 4.
In 1932, Chico published his first book -- Parnaso de Além Túmulo
(Parnassus from beyond the grave) -- featuring unreleased poems written
by 56 deceased Brazilian and Portuguese poets through Chico. The work
was put together by psychography, which spiritists believe happens when
the hand and thoughts of the writer are guided by the deceased.
The work, crafted when he was 21, was acknowledged by critics, who
determined his writing had the exact style of the dead poets.
And in 1971, a letter psychographed by Chico was used to get an accused
murderer acquitted, setting a precedent in the Brazilian justice system.
In total, Chico published 412 books, donating all the proceeds to
charity. The Brazilian spiritist federation (FEB in the Portuguese
acronym) has sold 17 million copies, but his work also is published by
another 100 outlets who print spiritist material in Brazil.
Chico’s legacy also included a nonprofit network of almost 13,000
spiritist centers in Brazil, which perform social services for the
community. There are spiritist societies and groups in 50 other
countries, including 30 in the United States.
Spiritism started in France in 1857 by educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard
Rivail, who under the pen name Allan Kardec, published five books
considered to be the movement’s foundation.
Brazil was home to a world-leading 2.262 million spiritists, according
to the Brazilian institute of geography and statistics in 2000. FEB
claims there are 30 million practicing spiritists in the country.
Initially, the movement gained attention for its incorporation of the
paranormal phenomenon. But now, spiritist meetings feature lectures and
the pass, a transfer of energy by the spiritist practitioner through his
or her hands to another in order to alleviate that person’s physical and
“It was an initial phase of curiosity,” says João Aparecido Ribeiro,
vice president of the spiritist center Lar de Tereza, in Rio de Janeiro.
“Today [the movement] is an element of spiritual education. The centers
are formed by common people.”
Antônio Flávio Pierucci, professor of sociology at USP (University of
São Paulo), who is an expert in the sociology of religion, says the
belief of reincarnation also makes the doctrine so popular in the country.
“Thinking of life as an evolutionary process is very modern,” Pierucci
says. “You return from each reincarnation more perfect.”
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Published by David Sunfellow
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