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Franz Reichl
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"I imagined entering the cinema and enjoying images and sounds that, without commentary, would make life appear to be rich and meaningful. One should be stimulated in ways that are profound, factual and not esoteric. One should investigate phenomena such as the relationship between mind and body, spirituality or death."

Born in 1949 in Wattwil/SG, Franz Reichle is one of Switzerland's leading contemporary documentary filmmakers. After five years of study as a graphic artist at the Zurich School of Creative Design, Reichle completed a seven-year course of study in filmmaking at the Hamburg School of Art. He later set up a film department at the Zurich School of Creative Design before making his first feature-length documentary in 1978.

Reichle's experience in making THE KNOWLEDGE OF HEALING (1996), a feature-length documentary that explores issues of health and illness from the perspective of Tibetan medicine and Buddhist philosophy had a profound influence on his thinking. During the making of the film, he explained, "I discovered completely new dimensions to the notion of what life is, or could be... I became interested in the connection and interaction between body and mind through consciousness... I wanted to continue researching in this area."

The insights gained and new interests stimulated by THE KNOWLEDGE OF HEALING led Reichle to what he describes as his "most ambitious project," MONTE GRANDE: WHAT IS LIFE?, his 2005 documentary that examines how the body and mind can exist as an integrated whole. By examining the life and work of acclaimed neurobiologist and author Francisco Varela (1946-2001), a leading figure in the field of cognitive science, MONTE GRANDE focuses on three key concepts: the relationship between body and mind (embodiment), the meaning of self-responsibility (autonomy) and spirituality.

While continuing to produce documentaries, Reichle is also currently a Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Zurich (HGKZ).

Icarus Films is proud to distribute these two thought-provoking, critically acclaimed feature documentaries:

  • Monte Grande - How do body and mind exist as an integrated whole? The eminent neurobiologist Francisco Varela devoted his entire life to answering this question.

  • Knowledge of Healing - The first feature documentary dealing extensively with Tibetan medicine.

Related Links:
The Knowledge of Healing from

SOUNDTRACK Album from The Knowledge of Healing!

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