Five reasons to see “The Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton”
The Storeys and Last Days of Thomas Merton is an award-winning documentary about one of the most influential theologians and mystics of the 20th century. Here’s why you shouldn’t miss watching it.
- Merton is (almost) a local.
Louisville (as well as the world) was his neighborhood for much of his adult life. It can be jarring to wander through urban Louisville and see a plaque to a mystic, monk, interfaith hero, pacifist. If you are inspired by the places featured in the film, they are a couple of hours road trip away.
- The film’s director Morgan Atkinson will be discussing the movie and Merton after the screening.
Atkinson has directed and produced some seventeen films about Merton as well as other spiritual and religious themes. Expect to ask questions not just about the technical aspects of making a documentary — ask about the substance of Merton and what he means to live in 2020.
- It’s part of an arc of A New View films about mysticism.
In 2019-2020 A New View, the film partnership between CIC and Butler University’s Center for Faith and Vocation, has screened and discussed Dakota 38, about Native American connection to a deeper reality; and Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story, about the mystic pacifist who shaped the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March 25 a screening of Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa wraps up the season. That’s a lot to think about!
- Get to know the person Thomas Merton as well as the icon Thomas Merton.
Seeing the person rather than the words and (perhaps) rather than the ideal is the power of film. Merton was a person, a contradictory, depressed, joyful, recluse who craved attention … Let’s get to start knowing him.
- This is a movie that will make you want to read the book.
Even before seeing the film, acquire a copy of Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain, the autobiography that he wrote at the ripe age of 31. It’s considered one of the most influential books of the 20th century. Read it!