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Review: Playing more like an infomercial than a documentary, ‘Heal’ offers mind-body alternatives

Rob Wergin, left, heals a man named Roger in the documentary "Heal."
(Paladin)

What viewers will get out of “Heal” will likely depend on their willingness to keep an open mind. This documentary from Kelly Noonan Gores explores the mind-body connection, offering personal stories, learned knowledge and scientific evidence to support its ideas around how our thoughts and emotions affect our health.

“Heal” follows the experience of two women experiencing chronic health problems. Eva and her doctors can’t figure out what’s causing her mysterious symptoms, while Liz appears to be the picture of health and wellness but is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Each woman takes a different approach to her treatment, but both rely on Eastern medicine in addition to its Western counterpart. Interspersed with their journeys are interviews with experts in holistic medicine, including an organic chemist and a neuroacoustic wizard.

In her directorial debut, Noonan Gores makes some odd choices that distract from her message. It’s a well-intentioned film that wants to help people live healthier lives, but it sometimes appears closer to a feature-length infomercial than a legitimate documentary. Both the believers and those curious about the benefits of visualization, positive thinking, reiki, ayurveda and other Eastern options may learn more through “Heal,” but skeptics may tire from all the eye-rolling.

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‘Heal’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica

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