Dhamma Brothers Film Photo

The Dhamma Brothers: A Documentary on Meditation Practice in Prison

Two Free Screenings with a Panel of Experts including the Filmmaker:

Milwaukee / March 25, 7 p.m.
UWM Union Theatre
2220 E. Kenwood Boulevard

Madison / March 26, 7 p.m.
Friends of the Waisman Center Auditorium
1500 Highland Avenue 53705






The Dhamma Brothers logo

An overcrowded maximum-security prison—the end of the line in Alabama’s correctional system—is forever changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program.

The Dhamma Brothers tells a dramatic tale of human potential and transformation as it closely follows and documents the stories of the prison inmates who enter into this arduous and intensive program. It challenges assumptions about the nature of prisons as places of punishment rather than rehabilitation and raises the question: Is it possible for these men, some of whom have committed horrendous crimes, to change?

A panel discussion will follow each screening and will feature the filmmaker and experts in criminal justice, neuroscience and social work.

About the Panelists

Dimitri Topitzes, Assistant Professor of Social Work, UW–Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. Topitzes investigates long-term criminogenic effects of adverse childhood experiences and is a board member of the Illinois Vipassana Meditation Center. He is working to make Vipassana meditation courses available to recipients of correctional and social services.

Richard Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry; Director, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior; and Director, Center for Creating a Healthy Mind, Waisman Center, UW–Madison. Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006, Davidson extensively researches the physiological effects of meditation. His work includes neuroscientific investigations of the exceptional mental abilities in advanced practitioners. Visit Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior

Jenny Phillips, The Dhamma Brothers Filmmaker. Phillips has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and is a practicing psychotherapist. She teaches emotional literacy to inmates. Her articles have appeared in academic journals, The Boston Globe, and national magazines.

Lucia Meijer, former administrator of a Washington State detention center. Meijer developed a treatment readiness program for chronic recidivists and treatment drop-outs, which included the first Vipassana courses to be conducted in a North American correctional facility.

Stan Stojkovic, Dean and Professor, UW–Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.
Stojkovic’s expertise includes correctional administration, philosophy, and criminal justice and criminology. He provides leadership development trainings to correctional departments across the country.

Directions and Parking

UWM Union Theatre
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Parking for the UWM Union Theatre is encouraged in the Union Parking Garage, located at 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd, with overflow parking available at the Pavilion Parking Structure, entrance on 3409 N. Downer Ave. (please see map here). Parking in these lots requires payment of an hourly fee.

Friends of the Waisman Center Auditorium
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI

Directions: Turn north from University Ave at the intersection of University Bay Dr and Farley Ave; continue over the hill onto Highland Ave. The Waisman Center is down the hill on the left. Enter parking lot 82 to the left after passing the building.
Parking: Free. Continue left to far end of lot and come in through doors marked Auditorium.
A Free Madison Metro campus bus, route 80, stops at the corner of Marsh Drive and Highland Avenue, 2 blocks from the Waisman Center.
View a map

For more information about The Dhamma Brothers screenings contact Dimitri Topitzes, UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, at 414 229-3004 or email topitzes@uwm.edu

For questions relating to the Madison screening you may contact Susan Jensen at 608-265-9053, or email sjensen@Waisman.Wisc.Edu, or call Bonnie Thorne at 608-263-2743. Visit the Waisman Center web site at: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/events/dhamma_brothers.html

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