Sat, May 18, 2024    
7:00 pm-10:00 pm


St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
163 Main St., New Paltz, New York, 12561

Event Type

This triumphant drama is about an ultracompetitive college athlete who, after a devastating accident, gains a profound new understanding of strength in an unlikely setting — a gas station.

“Powerful and moving,” critic Pete Hammond writes in Maxim magazine.

“See it,” Ross Anthony writes in the Hollywood Report Card.

“Ever elusive, it always keeps you off balance enough to make you want to see more,” Phil Villarreal writes in the Arizona Daily Star.

The stirring blend of autobiographical fact and narrative fiction, based on a memoir and novel by author and speaker Dan Millman, focuses on Dan (Scott Mechlowicz), a talented, cocksure gymnast at the University of California, Berkeley, whose desire for Olympic gold drives everything he does.

One morning, while out for a predawn run, Dan passes by an old-fashioned, brightly lit, full-service Texaco station.

Never noticing it before and surprised it was open at 3 a.m., he stops and encounters the station’s only mechanic (Nick Nolte), who is busy at work and seems to know more about Dan than Dan knows about himself.

Unsettled, Dan is also stunned by the man’s uncanny agility and coordination.

Blown away, Dan returns to talk with the mechanic the next day.

The more he talks with him, the more Dan realizes the man has insights Dan wants too.

He nicknames the mechanic “Socrates,” after the ancient Greek philosopher, who believed we should question absolutely everything and not rest until we know our beliefs lie on a secure foundation.

Socrates in the movie calls himself a peaceful warrior “because the battles we fight are on the inside.”

Dan gradually opens himself to Socrates’ wisdom but not without frequent retreats to his former, strutting ways — until a devastating accident makes him rethink everything.

Dan’s motorcycle hits a car and he breaks his thighbone in 17 places. Told he will never compete in gymnastics again, Dan contemplates suicide but eventually returns to Socrates on crutches in the hope of finding wisdom to help him heal and move forward with life.

While at the station, he also meets one of Socrates’ proteges, Joy (Amy Smart), a fascinating woman Dan’s age who has integrated Socrates’ philosophy into her life.

Guided by the curious old warrior and drawn to Joy, Dan begins a self-discovery odyssey in which he realizes he has much to learn and even more to leave behind before he can become a peaceful warrior and achieve his destiny.

“Peaceful Warrior,” released in 2006, runs 2 hours and is rated PG-13. Its trailer can be found on YouTube at

The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $10 a person.

Movies With Spirit screenings comply with all federal, state and local health and safety protocols, including those of the screening venues.

The monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.

The films are screened in diverse places of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m., generally on the third Saturday of every month. Movies With Spirit has no religious affiliation.

For more information about the “Peaceful Warrior” screening and the rest of the series, call Harrington at 845-389-9201 or write to him at