Published February 28, 2016
While so much of our attention for the past year has been on the establishment of the Santa Chiara Children’s Center in Haiti, we have not forgotten our original calling: putting the power of film at the service of the poor.
While we have no immediate plans to make a new, original film, we have embarked on a project that revisits many of the 25 films I’ve written and directed. We hope to release a series of films under the banner of One Human Family. The first film will be set in Kenya and will feature footage not in the film We Anoint Their Wounds. It will also feature never before seen photographs taken in 1999 for the film and book When Did I See You Hungry? The editing of the film has been completed. At this moment the music score for the film is being composed and recorded in Ireland. The second film in the series will be set in Uganda and will feature footage and photographs not in the film The Fragrant Spirit of Life. This film will open with a scene featuring Sam & Esther, the two starving kids with polio that found lying half-naked in the dirt in the bush of northern Uganda. The Sam & Esther scene from The Fragrant Spirit of Life is the most compelling, gut-wrenching scene of all 25 of my films. It has been seen by over a half a million people on You Tube. I end every presentation I give with that scene…and no one ever forgets Sam and Esther…and their older sister Jane who baths them. We went back and looked at all the original footage that I shot, and found even more compelling footage which was not included in the original film. The scene features new music and very few words of narration. It is intended to be a visual meditation on the plight of severely impoverished children around the world.
We have just posted on the Pax et Bonum Channel on You Tube the revised Sam & Esther scene which opens the second One Human Family film. I urge you to take 13 minutes out of your day, settle yourself down in a quiet space and watch this clip. Afterward, just sit still for a little time and allow the scene to speak to you on a deeper level.
Here is a link to the clip on YouTube: https://youtu.be/eerShLTBB2k
Pending funding, after the Kenya and Uganda films are released we will produce a film set in Haiti. If the series does well, we have films we can make that are set in South America, Central America, and Asia. If you are interested in being a sponsor of one of these films please write to me.
Peace and blessings,
Published January 27, 2014
Today’s blog is an invitation to view the prologue of a film Pax et Bonum Communications is making. It is a very different film for us…and one I’ve been dreaming of making for many years. As I write this, we are just days away from releasing our new film The Smile of a Sick Child, which is set in Peru and features the heroic work of Dr. Tony Lazzarra, a Secular Franciscan from the US who ministers to the impoverished and seriously ill children not far from Lima. And in two weeks, I will be leaving for Honduras to begin our 5th film on poverty; the film will feature the work of the Medical Missionaries of Mary.
Between our poverty films, I have been quietly working on a film about the necessity for stillness and silence in our prayer life. The film will be filtered through the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. Here is a link to the beginning of the film:
The Spirit of Saint Francis is a visual meditation on the invisible spiritual world of the saint and how his sacred discoveries can help us as we move toward God in our own way, in our own day.
During the past fourteen years I’ve taken nearly 40,000 photographs. Most of them feature severe poverty in worst slums around the world. As an antidote to looking so intensely at so much suffering, I began to use my camera in a therapeutic fashion by focusing on beautiful and tranquil scenes, usually without any people in the frames. I’ve taken nearly 10,000 photographs over the years during eight trips I’ve made to Assisi and other places in Italy that played an important role in the life of St. Francis of Assisi. The photographs from Franciscan Italy play a starring role in The Spirit of Saint Francis.
This simple and unique film explores the contemplative dimension of the Franciscan charism and the importance of stillness and silence in our spiritual lives. While St. Francis is famous for his great works of charity in caring for the poor, fully half of his adult life was spent in solitude, clothed in silence and fervently engaged in prayer. Action, for the saint, flowed out of prayer.
The stated mission of Pax et Bonum Communications is to celebrate the Franciscan charism. We have produced four films which illustrate the Franciscan concern for the poor. The Spirit of Saint Francis looks at the Franciscan love of prayerful solitude. The film is primarily a visual meditation whose photographic images of quiet spaces in Italy serve as a calming balm. The landscapes, trees, mountains, rivers are living repositories of sacred images and eternal truths. These sacred places – sanctum sanctorum – are sources of inspiration where human consciousness is temporarily set free. The photographs mimic Bernard of Clairvaux’s discovery of heaven in the book of nature and says “amen” to John Muir’s wish for everyone to listen “to the preaching of pine trees.” The narration gently leads the viewer into a deeper appreciation of the importance of checkering his or her life with periods of silence, stillness and solitude. And because I can’t help myself, the film also says that as we grow in prayer we must also grow in compassion for the poor.
It will take the better part of the year to complete this film…and at this stage we are seeking funding for it. If you wish to be a sponsor, please contact me.
We have one completed movie available on DVD:
Mud Pies and Kites
We are unable to accept credit card payments at present.
We ask for a suggested donation of $30 for each DVD. Pay more if you can, less if you can’t. We will pay the shipping. Please make your check payable to Pax et Bonum Communications. Send your name and complete mailing address along with your check to:
Pax et Bonum Communications
827 N. Hollywood Way #555
Burbank, CA 91505
Or…if it is easier just e-mail us at HELP@PaxEtBonumComm.org
with your name and complete mailing address and we will mail a DVD to you and you can send a check when it arrives. Please note in the Email Title (subject field) “FILM ORDER” so we can expedite your request!