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Film: ‘this body is so impermanent…’: A meditation on the physical body, healing, and transformation

9 &10 Oct | 5 pm | Auditorium | Free - reservation recommended
Peter Sellars | 2021 | USA
78 mins | PG*

To celebrate World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we invite you to watch a unique multidisciplinary performance film that will allow you to connect with your body and mind. The pandemic pushed us all to search for ways to rise above the frailties of the human body by focusing on the mind. ‘this body is so impermanent…’ is based on a passage from the Vimalakirti Sutra, a foundational Buddhist text from the 1st century CE.

Created during isolation by artists across three continents, the film is a creative response to COVID-19. A singer, a dancer, and a calligrapher came together to develop, deepen, and extend the links between the practice of the arts and wellbeing.

The passage used from the Vimalakirti Sutra is one of the most profound descriptions of the human body in early literature, one that understands illness as more than affliction – that it is also a messenger. Vimalakirti, the central figure in the text, is a businessman who addresses his fellow humans from his sickbed. He contrasts the body that is impermanent, that is fated to be broken and destroyed, with the body of reality, the body that is formed by our good actions, wisdom, generosity, shared kindness and courage. Thus, ‘This Body is so Impermanent…’ becomes a memorial of shared suffering and a message of beauty and hope.

Curated by Ruth Mackenzie.

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9 Oct 10 Oct

Watch the Trailer

Safety measures:

• Masks must always be worn in the auditorium and within the museum premises
• The auditorium will be sanitised ahead of the screenings
• A maximum of two people can set next to each other (from the same family)

*Film rating guide:
Louvre Abu Dhabi has provided a recommended rating based in assessment of the films’ content and themes for viewers’ guidance only and accepts no liability for their accuracy.
PG: Children must be accompanied by an adult.

THIS BODY, Calligraphie & Michael Schumacher


A production of The Boethius Initiative at UCLA and Fisher Center at Bard

Director: Peter Sellars
Executive Producers: Peter Sellars, Gideon Lester, Diane J.Malecki
Producers: Julia Carnahan, Cheng-Sim Lim, Caleb Hammons, Susan Pertel Jain, Jason Silverman, Cathy Teixeira
Cast: Wang Dongling, Michael Schumacher, Ganavya Doraiswamy
Director of Photography (Hangzhou): Yu Lik-wai
Second Unit Photography (Portland): Eben Joondeph Hoffer
Sound Designer: Shahrokh Yadegari
Editor: Tim Squyres

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