OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Thank You, Ottawa!

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The ByTowne is now closed.

It's possible that, after the pandemic has been brought under control,
new management will take over the space and offer big-screen wonderfulness again.

The building is being maintained, with all its facilities and equipment intact,
in preparation for that hoped-for day.
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Awake: The Life Of Yogananda

Reveal Your Self

Fittingly enlightening, Awake: The Life Of Yogananda is a vivid, elegantly assembled portrait of the savvy guru with the cherubic face and penetrating gaze who brought meditation to the West.

Poster art for Awake: The Life Of YoganandaAlthough the name Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) may not ring a bell, his teachings had a lifelong influence on the likes of George Harrison and Steve Jobs, who kept a digital copy of Autobiography Of A Yogi on his iPad.

Heeding a metaphysical calling to leave India for materialistic America, Yogananda initially landed at Boston Harbor at the dawn of the Roaring ’20s but eventually realized that Los Angeles would offer a greater wellspring of disciples looking to get their om on.

His first Self-Realization Fellowship was established atop Mt. Washington, drawing a range of ardent followers, including insurance tycoon and benefactor James J. Lynn.

But when Yogananda took his teachings to the South, he experienced a rude spiritual awakening. Orange robe-wearing, long-haired, brown-skinned men weren’t exactly warmly embraced and it wasn’t long before he was smeared as the leader of a love cult preying on married women.

Funded by the Self-Realization Fellowship but co-directed by Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman with an open, inquisitive mind, the film offers an absorbing glimpse into the life and times of the world’s first superstar swami.

– Michael Rechtshaffen, The Los Angeles Times
 

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