A sterling documentary examining Juliette de Bairacli Levy's pioneering work in herbal medicine for humans and animals. Framing de Bairacli Levy's iconoclastic life with excerpts from Matthew Arnold's poem, "The Scholar Gypsy," this chronicle creates a compassionate portrait of this early advocate of the natural lifestyle. Long before her canonization by New Age practitioners, Juliette de Bariacli Levy had set an unusual course for her life. The offspring of upper middle class Jewish parents, she studied traditional veterinary medicine before her dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals sent her on a pilgrimage to peasants, gypsies and Bedouins round the world. In the course of her investigation of traditional healing methods, de Bairacli Levy also found herself serving as an oral historian, recording traditions that might otherwise have been lost to future generations. In the 1930s, while living among England's gypsies, she saved the lives of 3000 sheep, and she adventurously continued her informal studies in France, Spain (where she met her husband), Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, the United States and Mexico. In a series of books, she studied wildlife, recorded the folk remedies she collected and tested, and paved the way for contemporary natural healers. Her herbal knowledge proved invaluable when she cured herself of disease with a diet of lemon water, and saved her baby daughter from typhus with poppy leaves. Moving from home to home, the peripatetic de Bairacli Levy tended a total of ten domestic gardens, which functioned as her libraries and laboratories. Today she continues to raise prize-winning Afghan hounds, lectures at symposiums to new disciples and remains unshakable in her conviction that technological progress is destroying the Earth's resources. Interviews with colleagues blend with an informative narration to foster an understanding of this advocate of natural healing. Long before holistic medicine was a familiar term, de Bairacli Levy Juliette was spreading the gospel of herbalism. This inspiring film helps clarify her role in bringing alternative therapies from the fringe into the mainstream.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: NR
- Review: A sterling documentary examining Juliette de Bairacli Levy's pioneering work in herbal medicine for humans and animals. Framing de Bairacli Levy's iconoclastic life with excerpts from Matthew Arnold's poem, "The Scholar Gypsy," this chronicle creates a com… (more)