Praise for the Film
Advance comments about In the Hands of Alchemy
Vicki Robin coauthor, Your Money or Your Life:
"Jerry Wennstrom is one of a kind - and his point is that any of us can be that. We can, like him, walk straight into the heart of mystery and emerge more ourselves than we could ever imagine. He tells his story of being called to destroy his art, of struggling to hear any message but that one, of surrendering his will and allowing the soft something beyond will to guide him. It's all a fabulous tale worth hearing again and again like a great myth, and it's a deep, simple instruction for how to find ourselves in the middle of a life that seems real, but is often missing the central character. Jerry's amazing recent artwork, and his extraordinarily beautiful and talented wife Marilyn swirl around this story of a courageous soul, making it even more compelling. Best would be to know Jerry as I am privileged to do, second best is watching this film. "
David Whyte, author, The Heart Aroused and Crossing the Unknown Sea:
"One of the magnificent things about Jerry is his profound and courageous innocence. He has created a friendship with a part of himself which is in love with the world, and his art displays that. Jerry is one of the few people I know who, in a very quiet way, has actually claimed his happiness in existence.
David Spangler, author, Blessings; Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent and Everyday Miracles: The Inner Art of Manifestation:
"In the Hands of Alchemy is a delightful film, an alchemical mixture in itself of inspiration, spirituality, art and the story of a remarkable human being."
Claire Dunne, author, C.G. Jung Wounded Healer of the Soul, from Parabola:
"In Jerry Wennstrom, his life is his art and art his life, a seamless flow from inner to outer expression of light and dark, multileveled, joyously humored and lit with authentic experience of being in service to its Source. Seeing Jerry's film, I can't divorce it from the gentle strength of his personal presence accompanying it. His experience based wisdom and knowing feeling are a penetrating complement to the life and work so powerfully portrayed on screen."
Christina Baldwin, author Calling the Circle the First and Future Culture and Life's Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest, 'One to One,' and Self-Understanding through Journal Writing:
"I think there is a real difference in human beings who have let themselves be thrown to the ground by life. Jerry did that with an intentional act with his art. He is on the other side of that kind of psychic death and renewal. He really is a kind of phoenix who has risen from the ashes. He teaches us in a very gentle way you can survive an act like that, you can come through as a human being with great gentleness and beauty and that you can create your life in a highly profound and artistic fashion."
Carolyn North, author, The Experience of a Life Time and Death: The Experience of a Life Time:
"In The Hands of Alchemy is, on one level, the story of Jerry Wennstrom's life and work, but on a deeper level it is about what can happen when one person gives up everything - home, work, money, 'things.' It is ultimately about dying,... about letting go into the unknown and unfathomable, and finding oneself in the Kingdom of God.
Corwin Fergus, film maker, writer, Jungian analyst:
"'In the Hands of Alchemy' is Jerry Wennstrom's story. It is the story of an artist's relationship to the Mystery and surrender. Wennstrom's gift comes through clearly, but his genius and courage to get out of its way forms the heart of the story.
Tsultrim Allione, Founder of the Tara Mandala Buddhist retreat center and author, Women of Wisdom:
"This is an extraordinary story of an extraordinary artist. Jerry's understanding of the freedom and gift of emptiness, the compassion that is inseparable from the void, is a lived and embodied realization. To see how this gifted artist chose to make his life an expression of his understanding of truth is a tremendous inspiration."
Laura Simms, storyteller and author, Bone Man:
"In the Hands of Alchemy is a revelation of the possibility of living directly in response to the soul of the world. It is a letting go, a widening deeply inward toward ceaseless renewal. Jerry Wennstrom's story is a tale of the wish fulfilling abundance of trust and intuition. It is a heartist's journey. There are few stories this inspiring and brave about artist as holy human being rather than maker of art. In a world addicted to concept and alienation, he is a man who was called to spirit and dared to answer the call. A man lives in a state of prayer. He does not need to seek creativity, but becomes it. Sharing this reality reminds us of another more primal way of being in the world, closer to the creativity of our ancestors who listened with the ears of animals and lived drenched in a sense of the sacred."
Laura Chester, author, Holy Personal and Lupis Novice:
"Each one of his unique sculptures creates a different delightful surprise. The stylized form of his art work makes me think of Egyptian aesthetics. Here the underworld is honored, coupled with a carnival-like playfulness that celebrates life."