Skip to main content
film review

Becoming Nobody is a documentary by Jamie Catto about spiritual leader Ram Dass.Michael Donnelly/Love Serve Remember Foundation

  • Becoming Nobody
  • Directed by Jamie Catto
  • Classification PG
  • 81 minutes


1.5 out of 4 stars

When British filmmaker Jamie Catto began listening to the teachings of Ram Dass (known formerly as Dr. Richard Alpert, a prominent Harvard psychologist), he was compelled to meet the spiritual leader whose beliefs merged western and eastern philosophies. Enter: Becoming Nobody, a documentary by Catto that consists primarily of Ram Dass archival footage and a conversation between Catto and the man who helped shape him, 25 years after the two finally met.

Using Dass’s theory that one is only free once they become nobody, the film will undoubtedly resonate with anyone who exists on the same spiritual plane or hopes to transcend to it. However, for anyone who not only subscribes to a different realm of spirituality but shies away from it altogether (hello), Becoming Nobody will illuminate your inner cynic, especially since so much of what Dass teaches is borrowed so heavily from another culture. Which can make viewing the documentary a challenge: if you don’t subscribe to Dass and his beliefs in the same way Catto does (or wants you to), there will be an unbridgeable gap between yourself and the subject matter. Especially if you tend to keep your spiritual cards close to your chest, like some people I know (me).

Becoming Nobody opens Sept. 6 in Toronto and Vancouver