Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

One of the true joys of living in New York these days is the Tribeca Film Festival, started in the wake of 9/11 by none other than Martin Scorsese. This year’s extravaganza opens on Wednesday, and as always, the festival’s line-up includes a significant number of films that explore faith and spirituality, matters of the soul, moments of history, and life’s biggest questions.

Some highlights, with description from the Tribeca website:

  • “Hard as Nails”: “This fascinating documentary follows unordained evangelical minister Justin Fatica on his quest to save America’s soul. Fatica uses his Hard As Nails Ministry to promote the gospel to all Christian faiths and reach out to the MTV generation. His gruff style and unusual methods bring salvation to some, but seem troublesome to others.”
  • “Forging a Nation”: “Accompanied by his mother, cousins, aunts, and uncles, the director retraces the steps of his Jewish ancestors, who fled Europe in the 1920’s hoping to find in Argentina the land of their dreams. This poignant film journey uses the documentary as a singular tool to explore the multifaceted ways in which the Argentine nation was built.”
  • “Time and Winds”: “This unforgettable, beautifully observed film is a lyrical and haunting portrait of life in a remote Turkish mountain village, where three preteens struggle with dreams and desires that are utterly specific and personal, and yet somehow universal. An extraordinary score by Arvo Pärt adds to the electrifying experience.”
  • “A Slim Peace”: “When 14 women–Israelis, Palestinians, Bedouin Arabs, and American settlers in the West Bank–are brought together with the shared goal of losing weight, they find out they have far more in common than they ever would have imagined. A Slim Peace takes a revealing look at the universal struggle for acceptance, understanding, and personal transformation in a land of intractable conflict.”
  • “Passio”: “A unique “oratorio for moving image and sound,” and a dramatic meditation on the very act of seeing. This extraordinarily powerful film sets the music of Arvo Pärt’s Passio–which has been called one of the last masterpieces of 20th Century music–against images carefully chosen from the billions created during the tumultuous century since moving image media first appeared. Its declared ambition is to manifest the neglected or repressed memory of the human race during this era.” (And this one is showing at New York’s extraordinary St. John the Divine Cathedral, with live music.)

Last year was Beliefnet’s first at Tribeca, and we brought you reviews of some extraordinary films, like “The Saint of 9/11” about Father Mychal Judge, and “Sound of the Soul,” about the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, and covered a fascinating panel discussion called “What Would Jesus Direct?

Stay tuned for reviews of this year’s spiritual Tribeca offerings, or check it out yourself by perusing the whole lineup and buying tickets here.

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