Spiritual Warriors is a special film based on the principles in John-Rogers’ book, Spiritual Warrior: the Art of Spiritual Living, and will appeal to people embarked on the path to a higher consciousness. While it probably will not play well in Peoria, those who have a belief system that incorporates past lives, out-of-body experiences, auras and visitations from the departed will embrace it and be open to the ideas expressed in the film.
Based loosely on real-life experiences of Jsu Garcia, co-writer and co-executive producer, the story revolves around bit-part actor Christopher Finn, also known as Jesse Fonseca (played by Garcia). To supplement his meager income, Finn doubles as a bagman for the mob, and the film opens with a drop gone badly and the police in hot pursuit. Finn falls asleep and is awakened by a man with long flowing white hair named Roger (Robert Easton), a character greatly resembling The Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf. This mystical looking chap seems to know the intimate details of Finn’s life and invites him into his palatial home. He offers him a cup of tea and shortly after a few sips, Finn experiences the first of many visions catapulting him back to strange, ancient places, including one where a mystical dark force in the form of a handsome young man strikes down an ancient Atlantean teacher. The reluctant journey towards his enlightenment and coming to terms with his destiny has begun and will include past-life regressions when he was the son of a king, a Crusader and an emperor.
Jsu Garcia’s outstanding work in Spiritual Warriors is intense and solid. By his own admission, since the character so closely parallels his own life, he had to be careful not to wind up with a caricature of himself, and he most certainly did not. His in-depth characterization allows us many insightful glimpses into Finn’s struggles with his spiritual truth and his sometimes tormented, terrifying regressions.
Of course there is a love story, and Finn’s girlfriend Claire (well played by Shyla Cruize) is a continuing presence in some of his past-life experiences where in different incarnations she lived as Athena of Atlantis and Queen Zenobia. The supporting cast, which includes Leigh Taylor-Young as the psychiatrist and Sally Kirkland as a realtor, all give credible performances.
Shooting in locations around the world including Egypt, Jordan and Syria, director David Raynr had a difficult challenge as a story of this nature is difficult to tell and certainly presents a special effects challenge, especially for a low-budget film. He maximized resources, elicited truthful performances from the actors and oversaw some interesting special effects created by Kroma VFX. An interesting musical score composed by Zeljko Marasovich appropriately underscores the action.
Spiritual Warriors is not a perfect film, but one must forgive the imperfections for the greater good – that is to remind those of us who may have fallen off the spiritual path to dust ourselves off in these troubled times and reconnect with the higher truths of the universe.
Spiritual Warriors is not yet in general distribution but will be screened on Saturday, February 10, at 4:00 pm at the Los Angeles Conscious Life Expo’s 5th Annual Conference, which runs February 9-11 at the LAX Hilton. Jsu Garcia and Dr. John-Roger will participate in a free film panel discussion on “Visionary Filmmaking in the Third Millennium, ” held Sunday, February 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The panel discussion will explore the power of film to transform society through expression that is enriching and uplifting, as well as inspiring ideas that can shift thinking to new levels of awareness.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 800.637.5777 or go to consciouslifeexpo.com.