Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the opening scene of this film, Frank Buchman is introduced to the audience with a video recording of a speech in which he states: 'What we need is something electric; a shock that brings men and nations to their senses before it is too late.' This scene sets the tone for the rest of the documentary by making us wonder what he meant by this statement, and what he did to demonstrate his strong conviction.

Throughout 'The Man Who Built Peace', the audience is presented with gripping archival footage and and re-enactment scenes of key milestones in Buchman’s life. These include a life-changing spiritual experience in Keswick, England, that led him to seek forgiveness from others and dedicate his life to reawakening the conscience. It becomes evident in the film that Buchman worked tirelessly to find spiritual and moral solutions to problems that were often rooted in personal, societal or political power struggles.

'The Man Who Built Peace' sheds light on Frank Buchman's philosophy and experiences in creating peace in a cynical and war-torn world. In essence, the film paints Buchman as an unsung hero who was deeply involved in spiritual and practical means of reconciling relations and healing wounds. His efforts in conflict resolution involving countries affected by World War II, including France, Germany, Japan and the Philippines, are central to the film’s narrative. Footage of actual events that took place in this process powerfully depict the importance of seeking and accepting forgiveness. The film shows his wisdom, passion for spiritual enlightenment and love for people. 'You can plan a new world on paper but you have to build it out of people,' Buchman argues.

The film features historians, scholars, former diplomats and former colleagues of Dr Buchman who recollect and share anecdotes about his ideas and the impact of his humble yet unforgettable character.

Anyone who desires to understand the history of Initiatives of Change and its founder will find The Man Who Built Peace an easy-to-follow documentary that will inspire them to look deep within themselves and ask, ‘Who am I? What do I believe I'm called to do and what can I do to change myself so I can contribute to peace around me?' Perhaps a clue lies in a saying shared by one of the interviewees in the documentary: 'Don't drop a lump of sugar into the sea. Drop it in your own cup of tea.' - Shahirah Elaiza Wan Hassan

  • Palestinian film-maker Imad Karam began making this film in 2011. In 2017, the film was one of 22 that were selected for screening out of more than 400 submissions to the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, Arizona in June of that year. The film premiered in Arizona and was later screened in London and Melbourne that same month.
  • The Man Who Built Peace is now available in Australia on DVD for $20 plus p&p. Contact to get a copy.