Healing from the soul

October 2, 2017 by Roz Tarszisz
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It has taken filmmaker Michelle Mahrer 10 years to get her latest documentary to the screen but there is a good reason for that.

Michelle Mahrer

The conventional way to get a film made is to have an idea, nurture it, do the research, write a script and then seek funding.   Mahrer had just finished a film project when she learned that a woman she knew from within the Jewish community was about to leave Australia to visit a spiritual healer in Brazil.   Deciding to listen to her instinct, she took a camera and followed her.

In A Quest to Heal – Beyond the Physical Mahrer chronicles the journey of Lya Shaked from Melbourne who has terminal cancer and Fred Porter from USA who has HIV, on an odyssey to see controversial spiritual healer Joao Texeira de Faria (also known as John of God) who has been credited with many miracles that science cannot explain.

For the past 30 years thousands of people from all over the world have flocked to his remote village in search of cures for illnesses for which Western medicine offers little hope.

The film follows Lya and Fred through the various healing processes at the centre consisting of meditation, prayer and procedures known as invisible spiritual operations. Energy is said to be the healing currency.  Lya, and her husband Ian, lived there for four months and in that time we see Lya start to be able to move and feel better.

Fred also starts to improve and admits he had to go to Brazil with an open mind and that analysing  the experience would not help the healing process.

Lya Shaked

The filmmaker asks the questions “Is John of God another faith healer exploiting vulnerable people or can something be happening here beyond the western medical model?  Do similar healers have access to a greater healing energy and can we tap into this ourselves?”

Mahrer, who is an award-winning filmmaker with a dance background and an interest in Kabbalah, specialises in films about dance and spirituality.

Here she aims to reveal how healing is so much more than simply curing the physical body and can be a self-empowering journey that begins from within, encompassing mind, body and soul and hopes that people will start to consider a healing that integrates both western medicine and spirituality.

“I want this film to help people tap into their own powerful energy” she says.

The documentary has been shown in Sydney and Byron Bay and will be screened in Melbourne on October 4.

An edited version will be screened on ABC-TV’s Compass on October 21.

The film will be available from November 8 on DVD and online streaming through the website.



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