Tonight I would like to share with you an extended trailer of a nice documentary, Beautuful as Butterflies, which was just produced by Jai Jagdeesh Kaur from South Africa. This blog post is its debut on the internet, so you are some of the first few to see it outside of South Africa. I hope you all enjoy and appreciate the story (as much you can from the short trailer). The full documentary is about 56 minutes long.
The film chronicles the story of four brave women from poor communities in Cape Town South Africa, who have been abused in different ways during their lives. It explores their experiences and healing using Kundalini Yoga and the creative arts to overcome the pain from these past experiences.
Sexual and physical abuse towards woman and children is more common then you probably realize. Even within the Sikh community. It’s one of those "hush hush" topics that don’t get discussed often. It’s important that woman have a support system and way to deal with these issues. Otherwise they can hold this pain for the rest of their life. In this video one of the tools is Kundalini Yoga, which helped change their lives, and allow themselves to deal with the pain.
"What Kundalini Yoga has done for me, a doctor would never have been able to do," says Rachma Attwood, now in her sixties.
"It was as though my body was in knots," explains Rachma. "Yoga undid them." Attwood believes that Kundalini Yoga and her prayers have brought her to the restorative space in which she now resides.
Desiree Mathinus, who has worked in the laundry facility at the Cape Town military base for 20 years, says that yoga has changed the course of her life forever. Radiant and full of enthusiasm for each day, she and Rachma are training to become yoga teachers so that they can convey their experiences with others in their community to whom yoga is not yet readily available.
The film provided the vehicle through which Desiree Mathinus, who was abused since the age of 7 by a family member, courageously shared her suffering for the first time. Yoga gave her the means to repair her soul. Her husband is a priest and now she uses Kundalini Yoga in her counseling with his parishioners. Her own priest extols the virtues of the Yoga. Margaret Jones and Nomsa Ntlabati, a rape crisis counselor, both sing praises of Kundalini Yoga and the journey it has taken them on.
As a result of the film, St. Joseph’s Adult Education Program has been approached by psychiatrists from state mental hospitals, prisons, and centers for abused women, and we are teaching Kundalini Yoga in all these various communities.
Kundalini Yoga became a life line of hope for all four women who took hold of this chance to voice their history and re-discover joy. They remembered the words to long forgotten songs and once more learned to sing.
Beautiful as Butterflies will be screened at the European Yoga Festival in France on Thursday, July 27, 2006, at an evening study group at 5:30 p.m. in the chateau. For further information and to purchase a DVD, visit www.stjosephsaep.co.za. All proceeds from the film go to their non-profit organizations.
Jai Jagdeesh Kaur/Julia Landau is the director of two nonprofit organizations, St. Joseph’s Adult Education Program and Footprints Educational Trust, which both provide skills training. She is also a filmmaker, a journalist, a mother of three, and a Kundalini Yoga teacher. Journey to Myself, her latest book, contains creative writing from women in prison. She was given the Sunflower Award for her work with women from marginalized communities.
Watch The Extended Trailer Video