The Hero's Journey
Finding Joe
Review by Ross Anthony

Well paced, uplifting, positive, warm, enlightening. A group of notable “Joseph Campbell” appreciators espouse the reasons why Joe’s philosophies can make us all heroes.

You may have heard the phrase, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In books and film and even mythology, this translates into: “It’s all the same story.” Joseph Campbell became fascinated with finding the universal elements in the greatest stories of different cultures around the world. His findings are concentrated into something he calls Monomyth or “The Hero's Journey.” That’s interesting enough on its own, but the real message of this reel is that the hero story is so universal, so loved, precisely because it “calls out” to the hero in each of us. Thus, in watching, perhaps you’ll feel that aching inside, the one you haven’t nurtured, the hero in you reconsidering the crazy adventures you’ve been too practical (or more likely, too afraid) to embark upon.

The message is a good one, and time is taken to temper it just a bit (IE: seek that which you desire, but not to excess). I would have liked to see a few more cautions. IMO, there’s a bigger problem with desire-seeking than just gluttony. There’s the problem of a world crowded with pleasure-seeking heroes. How all these heroes can live harmoniously in close proximity, relationships, family - this is not at all addressed. One hero's conquest, might inadvertently truncate another's, what happens then? Though guilty of being "new age-y," this doc is a welcome shot in the arm of positive thinking. Joseph Campbell would probably have encouraged the curious to have a look, take what they like and disregard what they don’t. He'd likely deem us each independent thinkers and insist that we be in charge of our own personal beliefs. "Despite the push of others," he might have said, "there is never a responsibility to buy 100% into any system of philosophic or religious beliefs." Or perhaps, he'd been metaphoric: "Discriminating shoppers don’t buy all their food from the same grocery store."

As a production, the picture is welcoming, juicy, and occasionally illustrated with the play of children; whereas another group of filmmakers might have tried to “reenact” some of the myths with serious actors and exacting drama. The use of children and “school play” costuming wisely loosens up these myths, injecting the hero story with that wonderful sense of childhood adventure that the film endeavors to inject into you.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Finding Joe. Copyright © 2011.
  • Directed by Patrick Takaya Solomon. Balcony Releasing, Pat & Pat, Inc.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 27-Sep-2011 14:04:53 PDT