A Candle Lights The Heart

15 Nov 2016 02:34 1
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Every Memorial Day thousands of people come together on a beach in Honolulu, Hawai'i — in Ala Moana Beach Park — to float candle-lit lanterns as an hommage to loved ones who have passed away. People are encouraged to write messages of love and remembrance to those who are gone while extolling life and connection. Hence the theme of the event, Many Rivers, One Ocean. While the ritual originated from the spiritual practice of Shinnyo-en (a religious movement in the tradition of the Daigo branch of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism) developed by its late founder Shinjo Ito, the event was created for people of all beliefs. Originating in Japan, the ceremony was carried on to Hawai'i through its current leader Shinsho Ito. Having witnessed the beauty and grandeur of the event, a longtime veteran of Shinnyo-en, Shinji Kondo, decided to make a feature documentary A Candle Lights the Heart that not only records the one-day event A Candle Lights the Heart follows these five families as they tell stories of those who they lost, how their grief impacted on their lives, and how the ceremony has helped them deal with their loss. but, by focusing on five families who have participated in the ceremony, demonstrates how the experience helps people cope with grief and loss as well as provides an opportunity to celebrate as well. Through compassion and redemption, all the participants in the ceremony are shown as they are able to achieve a moment of reflection while sharing the experience with the thousands who attend this yearly ceremony. The film not only focuses on these five families, it also describes the ritual, its history, and the process of producing this ever-expanding event. It also showcases the beautiful and expressive music that provides a soundtrack and aural landscape that highlights the experience.

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