Dialog Box

Aged | Community | Disability | Education | Health & Wellbeing
A Quest To Heal - Beyond The Physical
"A Quest To Heal - Beyond The Physical" takes us on a fascinating journey inside the world of Brazilian Spiritual healer Joao de Faria De Texeira also known as John of God. Over the past 15 years thousands of people from all over the world have been flocking to a remote village in Brazil, in search of a cure for illnesses that western medicine has failed to heal. John of God is said to work with spirits who do the healing through him and has been attributed to many miracle cures inexplicable to western medicine.10 years in the making and narrated by the film maker, the film is centered around 3 characters whose journey we follow - Lya an Australian mother with advanced breast and bone cancer, Fred an American producer living with HIV/AIDS, and Collette a manager from Adelaide with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. What will they discover? Michelle Mahrer's camera captures in vivid close-up astounding “spiritual operations” that are completely outside the realm of western medical understanding where John of God does cutting without anaesthetic, and scraping of eyeballs with a kitchen knife suggesting the existence of a spiritual dimension. She interviews many people with a range of healing experiences. Some have extraordinary stories of healing, such as as Maria who begins to walk again after being crippled with spina bifida from birth, and Bob who was cured of a degenerative eye disease sending him blind. Michelle meets others who are having instant healing changes such as Eusebio who is blind and after ten days is slowly beginning to regain his vision. Others have no physical improvements but are experiencing healing on other levels.We follow Lya, Fred and Colette, immersed in the spiritual environment of the Casa where John of God treats people in the main healing room called the Current room, where hundreds of people are immersed in meditation and energy is the vehicle of healing. The belief system explores the eternal nature of the soul where we are thought to be spiritual beings inhabiting a temporary human form and our life purpose is to evolve our spiritual nature. Many who come here have no physical illness but have other problems such as depression, addiction, or grief. Others come to experience spiritual connection. While each of the characters arrive with hope of a cure, most experience a reprieve from their condition – some temporary and others more lasting. What emerges in the film is the spiritual transformation they experience. The film shows how healing is not just magical cures but about the triggering of a self-healing process of self-discovery and spiritual renewal. Can opening to love, faith and forgiveness heal? 'A QUEST TO HEAL BEYOND THE PHYSICAL seeks to expand our concepts on healing and illness opening the audience to new pathways of healing beyond the western medical model. It inspires us to consider a new paradigm of healing that combines both western medicine and spiritual healing.

How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

Health and wellbeing are one of the most primary requirements of enjoying life.
Almost everyone knows someone affected by cancer or chronic illness. More and more people are getting cancer and other diseases such as inflammatory diseases which have been said to be partly due to environmental pollution, the chemicals and toxins we breathe in through the air and the pesticides and chemicals in our foods with food additives. The Western model of medicine with its focus on curing the physical body often does not have answers for many people with advanced stages of illness such as cancer. People who are very ill and vulnerable are often made to feel like victims who are at the mercy of doctors who don’t have answers and offer them no hope. This can be very disempowering for those who are very ill.

“John of God A Healing Journey” explores a different paradigm of healing that focuses on empowering people to participate in their healing process through looking within and taking responsibility for aspects of their health. The science of psychoneuroimmunology shows how our emotions impact our physical health, for example difficult emotions such as anger and stress can create inflammation in the body which can lead to cancer. Meditation and prayer have been the subjects of properly controlled scientific clinical trials which have shown that meditation and prayer can have positive impacts on health and healing.

“John of God A Healing Journey” explores a different paradigm of healing that doesn’t just focus on curing the physical body but looks at healing as a totality of mind, body and soul.

“John of God A Healing Journey” creates new perceptions about healing that are relevant to everyone, not just people with physical illness, but those with mental illness, and severe emotional trauma, children with attention deficit disorder, autism, people struggling with grief over a loved one, or a painful divorce.
Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

Our goals in making this film are:

Expand concepts on healing and illness opening the audience to new pathways that lie beyond the western medical model.

Educate audiences about concepts of healing, that healing is not just about curing the physical body but healing aspects of our selves that are not in harmony including our mind, body and soul.

Empower people that they can contribute to their healing process through healing unresolved or repressed emotional issues that may have contributed to their condition.

To educate the public how we think, feel, and our emotions, all impact on our health, particularly how unexpressed emotions, thoughts and feelings can create physical illness.

Educate audiences on the benefits of meditation and or prayer as a healing modality.

Change people’s perception of dying and death, that death is a natural part of life to be embraced.

Educate audiences that connecting with a spiritual dimension may impact on our health and wellbeing and create a greater sense of belonging and peace.

The impact of the film will be measured by how many people see the documentary, the success of the online presence and screenings. It will also be measured by documenting any new programs that are implemented by the centres where the film is screened (mentioned below ) that introduce new programs such as meditation, prayer, counselling groups as a direct result of viewing the film.

What is your education and outreach strategy?

Our outreach strategy will target both a broad general audience as well as specific groups. There is a huge community around the world who are connected to John of God so already there is a core audience. However the aim of this film is to reach the general public beyond the existing John of God audience.

Our aim is to have wide distribution throughout the world on television, internet streaming, at wellbeing centres, hospitals, and medical & alternative health conferences.

We will target film festivals, conferences and summits with subjects of health, wellbeing, spirituality, and alternative forms of medicine and social change.

We will reach out to specific groups such as doctors, general practitioners, health scientists, alternative medicine practitioners, Grief counsellors, psychologists, hospices, cancer support groups, cancer centres, Eating disorder clinics, depression & anxiety clinics, mental illness clinics, cancer research centres, drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centres. My intention is to screen the film with discussion and Q & A at as many centres as possible. I also intend to screen the film and offer movement meditation workshops as I am also a facilitator of 5Rhythms dance which uses movement as a healing tool.
Michelle Mahrer
Michelle Mahrer
Total budget
60 Minutes