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Personal Growth

Nolan’s “Batman” films show off personal growth, martial arts

Christopher Nolan's "Batman" films have broken box office records worldwide, but these films, and the character of Batman, demonstrate some of Ilchi Lee's teachings: especially personal growth through the use of martial arts.

Most everyone knows the origin of Batman, but it's heavily expanded in the first film of the series, "Batman Begins." Thomas and Martha Wayne enjoy great personal success, and give back to the community through their charitable works. However, they're brutally murdered by a robber, leaving Bruce Wayne an orphan.

Alone, Wayne travels the world, eventually meeting the mysterious Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson) who teaches him various meditation techniques and martial arts moves. Wayne eventually returns to Gotham City to defend it from the corruption and criminals that have plagued it for so long, growing from a disinterested billionaire into a hero of the city.

Dressing up as a bat to intimidate evildoers, Wayne uses a combination of his sharp investigative skills and newly-learned martial arts to protect the city. Things get even more complex in the sequel, "The Dark Knight," where Batman famously goes toe-to-toe with The Joker (the late Heath Ledger), a homicidal maniac.

With "The Dark Knight" breaking all sorts of records, speculation has surrounded the final film in the trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises." It's been heavily under wraps up to this point, but fans of the comics might have a few clues as to what will happen. For example, Marion Cotillard has been cast as someone named Miranda Tate, who is not in any of the comics. Since Nolan has stuck mainly to the comics, some fans have speculated that this may be an alias, and Cotillard is actually playing Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Batman's mentor and a potential love interest.

With the first teaser trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises" releasing this weekend with "Harry Potter," fans will finally get their first glimpse of what Nolan has in store when the movie releases in the summer of next year. 

Personal Growth Video - Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich lives her conscience

Ilchi Lee believes that meditation can bring to light many revelations. For example, in his poem The Light of Conscience, he writes that “Although all people have conscience / It is difficult to meet people / Who live their conscience.”

This theme is heavily present in 2000′s hit drama, Erin Brockovich, a movie that shows one woman’s journey as she tries to unravel a complicated controversy surrounding Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Brockovich notices that residents of Hinkley, California, are suffering medical conditions due to industrial poisoning in their water supply and theorizes that it is coming from the operations of the corporation. She also finds that there has been a systematic cover-up of the findings.

The star of the film, Julia Roberts, won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors’ Guild Award and BAFTA for Best Actress. Erin Brockovich is based on a true story and the real Erin Brockovich has a brief cameo in the film as a waitress.

The reception of the movie was largely positive. It received four Golden Globe nominations and five Academy Award nominations.

“We get the best of independent cinema and the best of mainstream cinema all in one package. Erin Brockovich, like Wonder Boys right before it, makes the year 2000 seem increasingly promising for movies,” wrote reviewer Andrew Saris for The New York Observer.