Rumi Turning Ecstatic

Personally meaningful and life focusing!
by Malcolm L. Rigsby

Subject: Travel one seeker’s quest for understanding of life and the Divine and experience a journey into the music, life and teachings of the mystic poet Mevlana Jelalludin Rumi.

Year: 2005

The human being has an ego, a heart, a soul and it journeys through life seeking to identify that thirst.  It is this quest that keeps our path focused on the Divine.  Our journey with Tina Petrovo begins with her quest for recovery of soul, spirit and body.  From her initial inquiry into spiritual and personally healing she is drawn into a quest for understanding; a life search through the poetry of Rumi.  Is it a quest with a successful ending?

The format of this film is built upon Tina Petrova’s reflective narrative questioning and seeking healing, humanity and The Divine.  But, the film is also a historical account of the life of and tradition that is growing upon the teachings of Rumi.  Additionally, the film offers an interpretive story of Rumi and his capacity to seek the Divine, love and humanity through reflective visions of life, all the time seeking to live life according to his visions of life.  Throughout the film historians and poets share their insight as they too seek out life and love through living their own life as exemplified by Rumi. Interspersed interludes include hauntingly peaceful and mesmerizing Sufi music.  Is Tina’s thirst for spiritual and the Divine; her desire to understand self and soul a success?  I will leave you to make your own conclusion.

Rumi: Turning Ecstatic is a truly enjoyable and informative film.  It is starkly shot, editing is excellent and the music added a meditating quality that enhances and assists the viewer to move right into the setting.  The film includes a study guide on the life of Rumi that is available online.  The DVD provides several special features that include some select poetry, artwork and a short but informative biography on the life of Rumi.  For more preliminary information watch the film Trailer and an interview with the Director which is sponsored by the film distributor, Choices Video.  The Choices Video website also provides a complimentary copy of the Guidebook which provides background data on Rumi and web links.

Review by: Malcolm L. Rigsby, J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Department of Sociology Human Services and Criminal Justice, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas,

Produced By: Tina Petrova, Stephen Roloff and Visionary Media Inc., Radiant Media Inc.

Directed by: Tina Petrova

Distributed By:

Format: DVD, English

Running Time: 48 minutes

Color/B&W: Color

Rating: Highly Recommended.

Audience Level: Jr. High, High School, College and General Adult.


Tags: Rumi, Mevlana Jelalludin Rumi, Sufi, Poetry, Inter-religious, culture, Dervishes, Twirling Dervishes, Whirling Dervishes, mysticism, Islam, mystic Islam, Camille Helminski, Kabir Helminski, Nader Khalili, Andrew Harvey, Coleman Banks


About Malcolm L. Rigsby

Malcolm L. Rigsby, Ph.D., J.D. is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Human Services and Criminal Justice at Henderson State University, Arkansas. He received his Ph.D. in sociology, at Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas. In 1979 he received his B.A.T. from Sam Houston State University, in History and Education with a minor in Sociology. He holds his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from St. Mary’s University School of Law (1989) and is a licensed attorney in Arkansas and Texas. He is active in the independent review of documentary film as well as a free lance reviewer for Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) hosted by the libraries at the University of Buffalo. He is active in research of prisoner identity and transformation toward pro-sociality and desistance from crime.
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