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The Independent Critic

Ray Bull
Brian Barnes
83 Mins.
The Redeemin g Film

 "Healing With Hypnotherapy" a Thoughtful Documentary 
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Brian Barnes is an interesting fellow. An astrophysicist turned emotion-driven filmmaker, Barnes is renowned amongst his fellow British indie filmmakers as "the man who gave Christopher Nolan his first job." Since 1987, Barnes has made nearly 30 short films and in 2019 completed his first feature film, The Redeeming. With Healing With Hypnotherapy, Barnes once again combines intelligent dialogue with emotional resonance by exploring the relatively straightforward question "What really happens in hypnotherapy?"

Healing With Hypnotherapy is a rather straightforward doc centered around acclaimed hypnotherapist Ray Bull. With Bull as the guide here, Healing With Hypnotherapy explores how hypnotherapy really works, what really happens in a session, and what conditions can be truly helped. In the film, you'll also meet Roberto, a man who stopped smoking after one hypnotherapy session and after all other methods for quitting had failed. His story is intriguing and it brings up a key element of hypnotherapy that is discussed - for hypnotherapy to work you really need to want it to work. 

Bull explains it beautifully. 

Healing With Hypnotherapy isn't really a fancy film. Barnes doesn't dazzle us with special effects or display any great histrionics. Instead, it's a weaving together of intellectual curiosity and emotion-driven immersion. The end result makes Healing With Hypnotherapy a thoughtful, engaging film that gets to the heart of the matter and likely answers all the questions you've ever had about the subject. 

The film is particularly intriguing when we are allowed inside one of Bull's sessions, a session that is removed from a lot of the showy types of hypnotherapy we often see in the movies or on television. Instead, this is simple and straightforward and intriguing to watch. 

Based in the U.K., Barnes has also quite the corporate video history including making films with Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft in addition to two charity videos with former Prime Minister Tony Blair. It's Barnes's diverse background that I believe makes his film's so incredibly intriguing whether it's a short, indie horror, or documentary. Barnes takes interesting ideas and brings them to life in a way that satisfies emotionally and intellectually. Rather than making "gotcha" films, he explores ideas of universal impact and applies them to our daily lives. 

Healing With Hypnotherapy is a film about hypnotherapy. Pure and simple. If you've no interest in the subject, I doubt that the film will change your mind. However, if you're like me and have ever been curious about how it all works then Healing With Hypnotherapy is the perfect place to start. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic