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Overview[ edit ] Born to Jewish-Ukrainian parents in Chile , Jodorowsky experienced an unhappy and alienated childhood, and so immersed himself in reading and writing poetry.
Dropping out of college, he became involved in theater and in particular mime, working as a clown before founding his own theater troupe, the Teatro Mimico, in From he divided his time between Paris and Mexico City , in the former becoming a founding member of the anarchistic avant-garde Panic Movement of performance artists. In he created his first comic strip, Anibal 5, while in he directed his first feature film, the surrealist Fando y Lis , which caused a huge scandal in Mexico , eventually being banned.
The result was The Holy Mountain , a surrealist exploration of western esotericism. Disagreements with Klein, however, led to both The Holy Mountain and El Topo failing to gain widespread distribution, although both became classics on the underground film circuit.
During the same period, he wrote a series of science fiction comic books, most notably The Incal — , which has been described as having a claim to be "the best comic book" ever written,  and also The Technopriests and Metabarons.
He has also written books and regularly lectures on his own spiritual system, which he calls "psychomagic" and "psychoshamanism" and which borrows from his interests in alchemy , the tarot , Zen Buddhism and shamanism.
His father, Jaime Jodorowsky Groismann, was a merchant,  who was largely abusive to his wife Sara Felicidad Prullansky Arcavi, and at one time accused her of flirting with a customer. Angered, he subsequently beat and raped her, getting her pregnant, which led to the birth of Alejandro.
Because of this brutal conception, Sara both hated her husband and disliked her son, telling him that "I cannot love you" and rarely showing him tenderness. Nonetheless he liked his local area, and was greatly unhappy when he was forced to leave it at the age of nine years old, something for which he blamed his father.
After dropping out, and having an interest in theatre and particularly mime , he took up employment as a clown in a circus and began a career as a theatre director. Nonetheless, Jodorowsky felt that there was little for him left in Chile, and so that year he moved to Paris, France. After this, he returned to theatre directing, working on the music hall comeback of Maurice Chevalier in Paris. It consisted almost entirely of mime, and told the surreal story of a head-swapping merchant who helps a young man find courtship success.
Jodorowsky played the lead role. The director Jean Cocteau admired the film, and wrote an introduction for it. It was considered lost until a print of the film was discovered in In , Jodorowsky moved to Mexico, where he settled down in Mexico City.
The movement aimed to go beyond the conventional surrealist ideas by embracing absurdism. Its members refused to take themselves seriously, while laughing at those critics who did. The following year he created a new feature film, Fando y Lis ,  loosely based on a play written by Fernando Arrabal , who was working with Jodorowsky on performance art at the time.
Jodorowsky became a disciple of Takata and offered his own house to be turned into a zendo. Subsequently, Takata attracted other disciples around him, who spent their time in meditation and the study of koans. An acid western , El Topo tells the story of a wandering Mexican bandit and gunslinger , El Topo played by Jodorowsky , who is on a search for spiritual enlightenment, taking his young son along with him.
Along the way, he violently confronts a number of other individuals, before finally being killed and being resurrected to live within a community of deformed people who are trapped inside a mountain cave. Describing the work, he stated that "I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychedelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill; rather, he needs to manufacture the pill.
The result was The Holy Mountain , released in The Holy Mountain was another complex, multi-part story that featured a man credited as "The Thief" and equated with Jesus Christ, a mystical alchemist played by Jodorowsky, seven powerful business people representing seven of the planets Venus and the six planets from Mars to Pluto , a religious training regimen of spiritual rebirth, and a quest to the top of a holy mountain for the secret of immortality.
During the completion of The Holy Mountain, Jodorowsky received spiritual training from Oscar Ichazo of the Arica School , who encouraged him to take LSD and guided him through the subsequent psychedelic experience. Klein had promised this adaptation to various investors.
Jodorowsky, who had discovered feminism during the filming of The Holy Mountain, refused to make the film, going so far as to leave the country to escape directing duties. In retaliation, Allen Klein made El Topo and The Holy Mountain, to which he held the rights, completely unavailable to the public for more than 30 years.
After the talk, Takata gave Jodorowsky his kyosaku , believing that his former student had mastered the art of understanding koans. The music would be composed by Pink Floyd and Magma. Subsequently, the rights for filming were sold to Dino de Laurentiis , who employed the American filmmaker David Lynch to direct, creating the film Dune in The film received limited theatrical distribution, putting Jodorowsky back on the cultural map despite its mixed critical reviews. It featured a protagonist who, as a child, saw his mother lose both her arms, and as an adult let his own arms act as hers, and so was forced to commit murders at her whim.
He followed in with a very different film, The Rainbow Thief. That same year , Jodorowsky and his family returned to France to live. Upon arriving in Mexico City, he gave a lecture at the Julio Castillo Theatre where he once again met Ejo Takata, who at this time had moved into a poor suburb of the city where he had continued to teach meditation and Zen.
Takata would die two years later, and Jodorowsky would never get to see his old friend again. Jodorowsky attended the festival and his films were shown, including El Topo and The Holy Mountain, which at the time had grey legal status. According to festival director Bryan Wendorf , it was an open question of whether CUFF would be allowed to show both films, or whether the police would show up and shut the festival down. Prior to the availability of these legitimate releases, only inferior quality, optically censored, bootleg copies of both El Topo and The Holy Mountain have been circulated on the Internet and on DVD.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper in November , however, Jodorowsky revealed that he was unable to find the funds to make King Shot, and instead would be entering preparations on Sons of El Topo , for which he claimed to have signed a contract with "some Russian producers". He attended and spoke about his work and life. His Paris-based production company, Satori Films, launched two successful crowdfunding campaigns to finance the film.
The Indiegogo campaign has been left open indefinitely, receiving donations from fans and movie-goers in support of the independent production. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.
Psychomagic, an art that heals
Psychomagie, un art pour guérir