"As long as you live, keep learning how to live."
— Latin Proverb

Gravity is a riveting tale of survival set in the terrifying wilderness of outer space where human beings do not clash with nefarious extraterrestrial forces or try to plant the American flag on another planet. Instead they spend their time on routine research and scientific missions. When disaster looms on the horizon it is the fault of human error: in this case speeding debris from their own satellite shot down by the Russians that has caused a chain reaction of other destroyed satellites in the same orbit. When their spacecraft is hit, two American astronauts must find a working shuttle that will take them back home to Earth. It is a battle against time and depleting fuel and oxygen levels.

"Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods."
— Japanese Proverb

Gravity is also about the spiritual journey of Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a medical engineer on her first mission. In the opening scene, she is outside the shuttle trying to repair the Hubble telescope. Accompanying her are Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a veteran astronaut on his final mission, who is entertaining his comrades in Mission Control in Houston, Texas, with whimsical stories. He is playfully seeking to break the official record for the longest spacewalk.

"The unexpected always happens."
— Latin Proverb

The light-hearted mood is broken when Kowalski and Stone learn that a deadly storm of debris is heading their way. As they scramble for safety and the shuttle is destroyed, the rookie is sent spinning into space. We are caught up in her scary free fall and hear her heavy breathing as she tumbles in absolute aloneness. Kowalski comes to her rescue but not before Stone is shaken to the core. Whereas he comments frequently on the astonishing beauty of Earth and the images of outer space passing before his eyes, she sees little more than an indifferent universe at work bringing death and destruction to all.

"Wherever I go, I meet myself."
— Tozan

Writer and director Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) has created a visual masterwork with his 3-D depiction of the tense drama of these two astronauts desperately trying to survive in outer space after losing their spacecraft and discovering the rest of the crew are dead. In the midst of this battle to stay alive, Stone begins her own spiritual journey. We learn that following the accidental death of her four-year-old daughter, she has plunged into a deep depression and grief manifested in her isolation from others.

"You can fall down by yourself but you need a friend's hand to get up."
— Yiddish Proverb

Unprepared for the deluge of life-and-death decisions she must make, Stone is worn out and ready to give up. At one point, she admits she'd pray if someone had taught her how to do it. Another time, tuning in to a transmission from Earth and hearing some dogs in the background, she practices barking. She also listens with fondness to a lullaby being sung. But it is through an encounter that goes beyond her capacity to explain that she is turned around and set on the course to get home.

"God gave burdens, also shoulders."
— Yiddish Proverb

It is a delight to watch the newly emboldened Stone improvise her way out of one disaster after another. With new pose and self-confidence, she demonstrates the spiritual practice of resilience. This is, writes Joseph Marshall III, "a quiet, persistent process. While hardship, difficulties, and disaster might befall us in a blinding moment, resiliency responds subtly. It does not bring results in one fell swoop, but moment by moment and one step at a time."

"If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'thank you,' that would suffice."
— Meister Eckhart

There are many images in Gravity that remind us that we are on a spiritual journey — from one of birth, through tribulation by fire, encounters with mysteries, and rebirth in water. But the clearest signposts to the spiritual life, as Rabbi Terry Bookman has written, are two words: "Thank you." They are a fitting response to this film as well. As the credits start to roll at the end of the film, place your hand on your heart. Feel it beat. With each heartbeat, imagine compassion being sent out into the universe, to all people, to all beings — especially those using every fiber of their being and every ounce of their energy to survive.

Over 3 hours of special features on the Blu-Ray/DVD: Experience the meticulous innovation necessary to create the world of Zero-G. Witness the physical and emotional demands Sandra Bullock endured on set.; Journey with Alfonso CurarĂ³n through four years of filmmaking to the farthest boundaries of cinema.