429 Magazine

'Finding Joe' tackles role of myth in culture

No one has had a greater impact on the imaginative cultural landscape of the past 60 years than mythologist and philosopher Joseph Campbell. After years of studying the mythologies of the world, he discovered that regardless of culture, all myths follow the same basic patterns and themes.


In his 1949 book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Campbell identified the primary myth of each culture – it’s hero myth – as the hero’s journey. He broke down the story’s stages, archetypes, and psychological truths, inspiring generations of writers and filmmakers (the modern myth makers) to create works ranging from Star Wars to The Lion King to Harry Potter.


Campbell’s ideas reached popular and critical mass in the 1988 PBS series and book The Power of Myth. In the new documentary Finding Joe, filmmaker Patrick Takaya Solomon sheds new insight on the cultural impact of Campbell’s legacy.  


The film combines evocative re-enactments of the hero’s journey with clips from its modern incarnations, including The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, and The Matrix.


Interviews with a host of visionaries, artists and athletes -- such as Deepak Chopra, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, Oscar-winning writer Akiva Goldsman, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and surfing legend Laird Hamilton – give compelling examples of how one’s life can be transformed by following the hero’s journey. Or as Campbell called it, “following your bliss.”


It’s impossible to not see elements of your own life’s challenges, experiences, and triumphs while watching Finding Joe. The film is thought provoking and inspiring on many different levels.


Whether or not you’re already familiar with the work and ideas of Joseph Campbell, do not walk – run to see this powerfully inspirational film. For more information on Finding Joe and to view the trailer, go here. For Finding Joe release dates and theatres go here:


Written By:
Adam Sandel
Adam Sandel
Thu, Oct 13, 2011


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