Click image and visit our website for a complete list of films

For more information on these films, please call the San Damiano Foundation at (818) 563-1947.

Highlights from The Fragrant Spirit of Life: Misery and Hope in Uganda:

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In this scene from The Fragrant Spirit of Life, we found Sam, Esther, and Jane outside the small village of Serere in eastern Uganda. They are currently being cared for through the nonprofit organizationVillage2Village. They now have a future and are embraced by the whole community with love and care.

A Note from the Director
The war-torn nation of Uganda, located in sub-Saharan East Africa amid lush landscapes offering an almost Eden-like existence, is one of the saddest places on earth. Death from the AIDS pandemic and the cruel violence of a brutal civil war and ethnic genocide have left countless numbers of children with nowhere to turn. They are tiny nomads, aimlessly wandering the streets, exposed to a host of dangers on every corner. Many of the countless orphans and their frail grandparents are digging up roots to eat. Untold numbers of children have their lives prematurely snuffed out by preventable diseases.

Childhood in Uganda has become a cycle of fear and despair. 40,000 children in Uganda have been violently abducted to fight as child soldiers or forced to serve as laborers or domestic slaves…or worse, sex slaves. I will spare you the bitter, numbing statistics that document the relentless, endless march of suffering and death that tramples the people of Uganda, destroying in its bloody wake families and communities. This film is about Uganda and four amazing people who are bringing the light of hope into this dreadful darkness.

You can feebly feel the pulse of infinite love beating within the rhythm of life in Uganda. Here you see the hands and feet of Jesus nailed to scrap wood over and over and over again. But the agony of poverty and violence cannot still the Spirit in the soil of the earth, in the souls of the people. The fragrant Spirit of Life smiles through the pain of living and the mystery of death.

In The Fragrant Spirit of Life I invite the viewer to enter into something beyond what is seen on the screen, and share deeply in the wonder and the sweet fragrance we inhaled in Uganda, the sweet fragrance of life, hope and joy we found in the midst of the pain, sorrow and death we encountered.

The Fragrant Spirit of Life is actually two, separate yet connected feature-length films. Spread over three trips, the two films document a five-week pilgrimage through dreadful darkness and into the heart of goodness. As you watch each film, pray; breathe in the Spirit, exhale the Love, and give birth to faith and hope in the dark corners of your life.
Gerry Straub

Sam, Esther, and Jane in January ’08 at Mama Helen’s home, four months after we first found them.
(January \'08) Sam, Esther, and Jane at Mama Helen\'s home, four months after we first found them.

Sam, howling with laughter as he dances to the beat of a song crackling through an old radio.
Sam at Mama Helen\'s

Some of the Village2Village children at the primary school, across from the new V2V Children’s Center.

 

More photos from Uganda (slums of Kampala, IDP camps of Gulu, and rural life)

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*Please do not use our photos without permission.
Contact us at 818.562.7394. Thank you.

 

3 Responses to “Films”


  1. 1 Khim J Caermare October 25, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I am a Diocesan seminarian.

    I believe that your films will really inspire us in our ‘calling’.

  2. 2 Kwashirai Chigodora (Botswana) February 1, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Mr Straub

    I love film-making for a hobby… though i only own a consumer camcorder. I have produced many wedding videos and a few music videos. I am finalizing a 10 minute educational documentary that i want to use to increase my daughter’s self-confidence.

    I have an idea to make films of poor people’s situations and use hem to seek help and assistance from around my country. Do you think this is a good idea?

    I have the fear that i might create too much expectations in the poor people, who will watch the horizon waiting for help to come, but if I fail to find assistance of any kind, they will be sadly disappointed.

    How do you avoid that?

    Thanks for your advice.

    Yours in Christ
    KC

  3. 3 Mark Fredette February 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Gerry,

    It was such a shot in the arm having you speak to us at SF today! Thanks so much for your testimony and the images, at great personal cost to you and others, that were brought as God’s Grace to us. As we pray for our own conversion, you have been a part of God’s merciful help to us to “put on the mind of Christ.” Thank you so much for your ministry. Can’t wait until you can present your little angels to the boys here :-)

    Mark


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