Iain McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Consultant Emeritus of the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, London, a former research Fellow in Neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch.
Note: Although this documentary is about the divided human brain—left and right hemispheres—my proposed subtitle above refers to a unified world that our hero very much prefers, as do I.
Directed by Manfred Becker, narrated by Seana McKenna, and hosted by Iain McGiltrist, The Divided Brain takes the viewer through many worlds of thought regarding our brain, our culture, and our destiny as a species. The film’s initial focus is on the overactive logical left hemisphere of the brain, and transitions to the underutilized intuitive, emotive right hemisphere.
Becker and company take us on a journey through worlds of thinkers, scientists, and philosophers sharing their thoughts and experiences regarding our brains left and right hemispheres. McGilchrist eloquently states the problem: “We behave like we have right-brain damage.” His call is to focus on the much-needed care and nurturing of the left brain, and his hope is to see that focus help heal global sociological, psychological, and environmental maladies.
Amongst other places and people, the film’s journey takes us through a young children’s school, a clinic for brain damaged patients, time speaking with the legendary John Cleese, and a visit with iconic brain researcher Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor at her home. We also see a clip from her TED Talk presentation where she speaks of the stroke that changed her life.
Taylor categorically states that upon her recovery she was a completely different person. I was jaw-droopingly impressed by her home with its massive amount of art work Taylor has created and curated at home subsequent to her recovery. This time with her was in and of itself worth the price of admission to viewing this film!
(Photo courtesy of bullfrogfilms)