Marc Israel had been filming his life for a decade, including hitchhiking & street-performing adventures, love connections, and ongoing emotional struggles. Then, in 2004, a series of near-plagues occurred one after another: a severe case of heartbreak after a failed long-term relationship, an invasion of ants, followed by moths, into his apartment, physical injuries including two massive earaches and a frightful accident concerning his private parts, and, finally, the sudden loss of function in his arms due to chronic tendonitis. Deep in despair, Marc by chance came across a T.V. documentary on the internationally renowned "Miracle Man" healer, John of God, and quickly booked a flight to Brazil. What follows is an exploration of the Self, via encounters with the mysterious and controversial John of God, his community of pilgrims and self-styled spiritualists, the sacred ceremonies of the Fulnio Indians, the jungles rife with strange life, all of which are interwoven with ghostlike flashbacks drawn from years of constant video self-surveillance. Through images both real and surreal, conversations with friends, visits to doctors and therapists, intimate video journals, detailed probes into the natural world, and the editing process of the film itself (also documentary fodder), Marc's pathology and innate wisdom often co-emerge to provide surprisingly humorous and lighthearted moments of relief.
"Nearer My God To Thee" is a feature-length award-winning film that has played at film festivals around the world. Visit myspace.com/marcisraelfilms for more information.
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