Dancing in the Flames - A Film About Marion Woodman - An Alternative Review
Kali, the goddess of life and death, of creation and destruction, is the most revered Hindu goddess, beloved in India. But our country hasn’t dealt with Kali at all because we don’t like to think that death is part of life even though we’ve just finished with winter! I mean, if we gave any thought to it at all, we’d know that death leads to new life. I think we have to learn to accept mystery, to accept that the Divine is mysterious and that if we think we know everything, we are grossly deceived.” - Marion Woodman
Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames is a brilliant and intimate documentary into the life of Jungian Analyst, Marion Woodman who is known for her groundbreaking work as a teacher and author on feminine psychology, and addiction. By integrating the animation of Academy Award winner Faith Hubley, we are taken into a metaphoric representation of the unconscious imagery that Marion discusses so passionately, and under the direction of Adam Greydon Reid, the film’s 83 minutes captivates the viewer’s attention into one person’s journey into the soul.
The film’s warning in Marion’s own words are, “Most thinking people realize that we have come to the end of a paradigm that is not only not serving us, but is destroying us. The culture is collapsing and only a melding of both masculine and feminine energies , integrating body and soul, can halt the current social and environmental devastation.”
The film invites us to examine our own lives, as the brilliant mystic and author Andrew Harvey interviews Marion as she explains the mysteries of her soul’s journey and reveals a series of psychological ‘deaths’ and ‘rebirths’ that have formed the consciousness into which she has evolved. From her battle with anorexia, to her revelatory experiences in India, to her ever-evolving marriage, to her dance with cancer, Marion has ‘died into life’ and, thus, is a perfect teacher and midwife for this critical period in our history. Her inner and outer lives combine to communicate a core truth of what it is to be human.
The film presents a philosophy of dynamic opposites, the bridging of seeming contradictions. Life and death, love and grief, courage and submission are not at loggerheads for her—they’re part of a harmonious whole. By embracing these opposites we come into the totality of human experience.
For anyone who is navigating the turbulent waters of the soul’s journey and looking for the larger meaning of what it is to be human in a paradoxical world, this documentary is a must see as we witness Marion Woodman so articulately sharing her own journey into soul.
Marion Woodman is a writer, international teacher, workshop leader, and Jungian analyst. With over half a million books in print, she is one of the most widely read authors on analytical and feminine psychology of our time. A graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute of Zurich, Ms. Woodman is the author of Addiction to Perfection, The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter, The Pregnant Virgin, The Ravaged Bridegroom, and is co-author of Coming Home to Myself (with Jill Mellick), The Maiden King (with Robert Bly) and Dancing in the Flames (with Elinor Dickson).