Term of Trial movie banner


The story of Gurdjieff's travels through the Middle East and Central Asia as he searches for a meaning to existence. Meetings with Remarkable Men is a 1979 British film directed by Peter Brook. It was mostly shot on location in Afghanistan, although the dance sequences were filmed in England. It is based on the book of the same name by the Greek-Armenian mystic, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, first published in English in 1963.



Meetings With Remarkable Men begins with Gurdjieff's boyhood. He is being schooled to be a priest, yet professes an interest in science. After a near-death experience on a firing-range Gurdjieff questions his father (the English actor Warren Mitchell) on dying and is told of a possible after-life.

The film soon jumps in time and Gurdjieff (Dragan Maksimovic) is now a young man, who with his band of fellow seekers he chances upon an old letter with a star-like symbol on, referring to the Sarmounk Brotherhood - the most ancient of the secret esoteric schools. He sets off in search of further clues and comes across an old map (with the same star-like symbol on) showing ancient settlements in an Egypt before there were sands.

Gurdjieff travels by steam-ship to Egypt and soon makes the acquaintance of archeologist Professor Skridlov (Athol Fugard), and fellow map-holder and seeker, Prince Lubovedsky (Terence Stamp). Gurdjieff and the Prince visit various gurus, until the latter finally meets one his resonates with and takes leave of Gurdjieff.

Gurdjieff and Professor Skridlov embark on an expedition in search of the Gobi Desert's buried cities. Gurdjieff calls upon his friends to accompany him on the trip. Once underway, a sandstorm renders them lost, and after a needless death of one of their party the expedition is cancelled. Gurdjieff and the Professor go it alone and reach a monastery. The Professor stays, but Gurdjieff still wanting more is taken blindfolded on a mule-trek across the Himalayas to the secret school of the Brotherhood. He is welcomed, and given a tour of it's teachings by his old friend Prince Lubovedsky.