Finding Joe - film review

finding-joe[Note from Rob – Big thank you to Scott for this review.]

I learned about this movie, Finding Joe, through an Escape the City tweet!

Being someone who enjoys reading about escapes and listening from those that have gotten to the top of their chosen paths, I had to watch this particularly after seeing the trailer.

Be warned, I am not a movie reviewer, and not sure if I will ever be. But do let me try and tell you a bit more to what it is all about.

Finding Joe

Finding Joe is a documentary that resonates with you particularly if you are at that place where you are not sure where you are headed or how to change course.

Directed by Patrick Takaya Solomon, it features interviews and stories from known faces such as Deepak Chopra, Tony Hawk, Mick Fleetwood, Alan Cohen, Laird Hamilton, Rashida Jones, Laird Hamilton and Norman Ollestad.

It starts with a story of a golden Buddha camouflaged to save it from being plundered by an invading army. It is left alone as being nothing of worth. The story then goes on to explain that we are all golden inside and that by simply moving along in life as everyone expects you to, you build up this camouflage. It can happen to be exposed over time or a through a difficult time in your life, and once it is exposed, you can’t ignore it.

The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell was a famed mythologist and the film digs further into those studies and The Hero’s Journey which provides the structure for the film. The fights through the struggles that is thrown at you, overcoming demons, changing yourself and returning a different person. The journey that Joseph saw as the common theme in the world’s stories.

Watching clips from famous movies such as Star Wars and The Matrix and tales being acted out by kids in costumes, one in particular of a tiger amongst sheep. Combined with stories from the interviewees, you begin to see the common theme take shape.

There is not much about Joseph Campbell himself, but there are quotes from him throughout which give inspiration as do some of the interviewees’ stories.


One such story that really struck me was from Norman Ollestad who survived a plane crash at the age of 11. A crash which claimed the life of his father, his father’s girlfriend and the pilot. He was the only survivor.

If you are looking for a movie that will help inspire and get you on track to finding your way or your “bliss” as is mentioned in the movie, then sit back for the 120 minutes and absorb. Even if you are at the stage where you have made your escape, then some of the stories and quotes may reinforce why you are doing what you do.

My take away from it was – open yourself up to the opportunities, go on the journey, explore yourself and then come back and share the story.

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Finding Joe

In the early 20th century, while studying world mythology, Joseph Campbell discovered a pattern hidden in every story ever told and he called it “the heroes journey”. A truly inspirational film, FINDING JOE takes us on the ultimate heroes journey: the journey of self discovery. As you slay dragons and uncover treasures, you just may find that the holy grail you seek is closer than you think.

The movie can be “rented” for 72 hours by streaming over the internet at and is also available on the US iTunes store. I couldn’t find it in the UK store.

What is Escape the City all about then?

Frustrated by climbing the corporate ladder, we decided to build a community to help people build meaningful careers doing work that matters – to them and to the world. We help talented people find unfulfilling work by making big career changes, building businesses, & going on big adventures. We’d love you to come with us on this journey.

How do you get involved?

1. Job Seeker? Create an Escape Profile to get matched to exciting jobs.

2. Aspiring Career Changer / Entrepreneur? If you’re in London, come and see us at The Escape School.

3. Want to stay in touch? Subscribe to one of our newsletters. Find us on Facebook or @escthecity.

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