Sharchen Dzong Film Society
The Sharchen Dzong Film Society is dedicated to bringing great film to our community for free. We present films that examine themes such as devotion, intention, transformation, happiness, healing, suffering, connection, impermanence and the illusory nature of experience.
Consider movie night an opportunity to try one of the many nearby restaurants before joining us for the film. If there is a film you’d like us to show, send an email to film [at] sharchendzong [dot] org.
Fall 2015 Film Schedule
Join us for a selection of international short, animated films that together represent multiple styles and techniques, from multiple categories including documentary, drama, comedy, stop-action, computer-assisted, painted, musical, etc.
Date: Friday, October 16
Never a Bystander
Never a Bystander is about making courageous choices in the face of injustice. Its subject, Irene Butter, has spent nearly 30 years visiting schools and inspiring countless children to find the courage to take compassionate action and transcend obstacles.
Irene Butter is a German-Jewish holocaust survivor, born in 1930. What began as a normal childhood, in a family that was integrated into main-stream German society, turned into fleeing to Amsterdam during the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany. When Hitler invaded The Netherlands in 1940, a five-year occupation began, leading to the deportation and death of some 107,000 Dutch Jews. Ms. Butter’s family was among those deported to the German Concentration Camp Bergen-Belsen.
This film explores these seminal events in her life, but its focus is on how the persecution she endured shaped her outlook on the world, suffering, and led to her work educating middle and high school aged students about the holocaust. Her humanity, compassion, and strength shine through as she shows how one person can make a difference. The film includes footage of her efforts to bridge the gap between Palestinian and Jewish woman through Dialogue, social justice in her local temple, and countless other efforts.
Date: Friday, October 23
The Dhamma Brothers
Behind the high security towers and double row of barbed wire and electrical fence at Donaldson Correction Facility dwells a host of convicts who will never see the light of day. But for some of these men, a spark is ignited when it becomes the first maximum-security prison in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat, an emotionally and physically demanding course of silent meditation lasting ten days.
The Dhamma Brothers tells a dramatic tale of human potential and transformation as it closely follows and documents the stories of the prison inmates who enter into this arduous and intensive program. This film, with the power to dismantle stereotypes about men behind prison bars also, in the words of Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), “gives you hope for the human race.”
Date: Friday, November 6
In 1946, a banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of a double murder, even though he stubbornly proclaims his innocence. He’s sentenced to a life term at the Shawshank State Prison in Maine, where another lifer, Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), picks him as the new recruit most likely to crack under the pressure. The ugly realities of prison life are quickly introduced to Andy: a corrupt warden, sadistic guards led by Capt. Byron Hadley, and inmates who are little better than animals, willing to use rape or beatings to insure their dominance. But Andy does not crack: he has the hope of the truly innocent, which (together with his smarts) allow him to prevail behind bars. He uses his banking skills to win favor with the warden and the guards, doing the books for Norton’s illegal business schemes and keeping an eye on the investments of most of the prison staff. In exchange, he is able to improve the prison library and bring some dignity and respect back to many of the inmates, including Red.
Date: Friday, December 4
Films We Show
There are many films that explore contemplative themes from a variety wisdom traditions. Films such as these offer the general audience an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the many diverse forms of buddhism.
The film society regularly presents a selection of exceptional and hard-to-find dharma films.
Mainstream film can be described as commercial films that have a wide release and play in first run theaters. The boundary is vague. Mainstream suggests middle-of-the-road and implies commercial viability, sometimes implying that the commercial viability is tantamount to a loss of artistic creativity.
The film society presents a wide selection of mainstream films that provide though-provoking and inspiring stories which some may consider dharmic.
Experimental film is often characterized by the absence of linear narrative, the use of various abstracting techniques (out of focus, painting or scratching on film, rapid editing), the use of asynchronous sound or even the absence of any sound track.
The goal is often to place the viewer in a more active and thoughtful relationship to the film. The terms avant-garde and undergroundhave been used to describe films that today are commonly called experimental cinema.
The film society presents a selection of experimental films that provide our audience the opportunity to experience beginner’s mind.
Our community includes a diverse and extraordinary group of filmmakers making films that examine issues both personal and universal in a wide range of styles and genres, including: animation, experimental, drama, documentaries and others.
Contact: For more information, please send an email to:
film [at] sharchendzong [dot] org.