#86 SAND’s New Film on Spirituality in the Face of Injustice

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In this episode with filmmakers, producers, and founders of Science & Nonduality (SAND) Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo discuss their new film, Where Olive Trees Weep, which explores the impact of colonialism and intergenerational trauma on indigenous cultures, particularly in the occupied West Bank and Palestine. The film serves as a call to action for spiritual activism and aims to amplify the voices of those affected by oppression and injustice. The 21-day release of the film is accompanied by conversations, music, and poetry to provide a more holistic experience for viewers entitled World People’s Premiere June 6–27, 2024. 

Their aim is, beyond mere education, to truly move hearts and minds and inspire audiences to echo the calls for freedom, equality and dignity that have gone unanswered for far too long. This film hopes to inspire a dream for an end to the occupation in Palestine, the attainment of equal rights and fair treatment for Palestinian people, and the spreading of healing for all intergenerational cycles of trauma in the region.

Visit WhereOliveTreesWeep.com for more information, to join the premiere, and to share in the vision.

Zaya Ralitza Benazzo is a producer and a film director born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization SAND. She has produced and directed several award-winning documentaries including The Wisdom of Trauma, The Art of Life, Rays of the Absolute, America’s Chemical Angels, and Wings and Strings.

Maurizio Benazzo grew up in Genova, Italy. At an early age he began actively traveling the spiritual path, exploring the practices of Zen Buddhism, Transcendental Meditation, Yogic philosophy, Catholicism and Philosophy. He has experience in all aspects of production both in front of and behind the camera, including acting, directing, cinematography, and distribution.


  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 03:58 – The Path towards the Olive Trees
  • 08:42 – History with Spiritual Activism
  • 13:14 – The Reality in the West Bank
  • 23:19 – Keeping Inspired During the Painful Moments
  • 26:35 – Hopes for the Film
  • 32:15 – The People’s Premiere Event
  • 37:06 – Shadows of Modern Spirituality in the Face of Injustice

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