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NBC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, and other top national outlets featured Chris Jeon in 2011 for flying out to Libya to join elite rebels in fighting Gaddafi. But who is Chris really?
I’m Ien Chi, a filmmaker who has set out to find out the deeper story than what the mainstream media had portrayed – and I just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise production funds.
Contrary to much of the hype surrounding him, I found Chris to be a grounded and highly reflexive human being whose motives behind his seemingly ‘crazy’ actions are still built on the universal human yearning for life. Even though I was still polarized by his behavior that could either be dismissed as naive and foolish – or hailed as heroic and courageous, I nonetheless found his story to be symbolic of the journey rooted in all of us to constantly be on the search for a more meaningful truth.
Chris’s past actions were all rooted in the most fundamental human search for something more than just earning a comfortable living, nurturing one’s reputation, or following society’s dogmas. Being an Asian-American myself, I could empathize with why Chris went hunting for sharks, living with the indigenous in the Amazon, and going off to Libya; they were powerful reactions to a repressive past of just pursuing all A’s, going to a good college, or earning a respectable living. But it was only recently that Chris in his own words says he’s found a new peace of mind – a sense of total self acceptance and liberation from the infinite void that so many try to fill with money, adventure, travel, relationships, career success, materials, accomplishments and beyond. Chris has told me he was never very religious, but that only recently has he come to realize some greater truths that has changed his life.
With this new realization and state of consciousness, he now faces this next summer with infinite possibilities and has mentioned to me that he wants to pursue being an artist. How he will go about this I am not sure – but I plan to follow him as he undergoes his next summer endeavor.
While I’ll be documenting this summer, I’d also like to tell the story of his past and explore what has led him to where he is today: his bold quests to overcome fear, the extreme adventures rooted in a search for meaningfulness, and expressions for self affirmation and acceptance – his journey from previously following a linear path based on dogma and safety, to questioning his motives, to breaking the chain and diving into experiences in the Amazon, Libya, and beyond to where he is now in his spiritual learning of true self. It seems that ultimately, this entire journey has been and continues to be a deeply spiritual one.
This is a real life coming-of-age story of Chris Jeon who chose the red pill instead of the blue pill – who went down the rabbit hole and found the extraordinary.
Visit the Kickstarter page for more information and to pledge to the project to help bring it to life: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1028586349/the-greatest-adventure-the-story-of-chris-jeon
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