Last month we told you that Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Recipe for Living a Life That Matters had been selected among the top ten films for Culture Unplugged’s “Humanity Explored” Film-Maker’s Choice Award. Well, now another film from Glassman’s Zen Peacemakers group has been singled out for kudos. Titled In Spite of Darkness: A Spiritual Encounter with Auschwitz, the documentary has won 3 Silver Telly Awards, for Videography/ Cinematography; use of Music; and for overall quality in the Religious / Spirituality category. Details and a link to purchase the film, after the jump.
Here’s Zen Peacemakers’ synopsis of In Spite of Darkness:
We gathered as a multi-faith assembly of practitioners of many cultures in Oswiecim, Poland, on the grounds of Auschwitz – Birkenau, the place of personal and universal human tragedy during World War II. There, we offered many opportunities to bear witness to the diverse aspects of ourselves and others.
The retreat was guided by Bernie Glassman, Eve Marko and an experienced group of international leaders representing diverse cultures and religious traditions. We spent most of the daylight hours each day at the Birkenau camp, practicing periods of silence and meditation, offering prayers, chanting the names of the dead, offering Kaddish (the Jewish Memorial Prayer) and religious services in many traditions. In the mornings there were facilitated small group Listening Circles, and special programs in the evenings for the whole group.
Every November an interfaith retreat is held at the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in Poland, where more than 1 million people, nearly all of them European Jews, were exterminated by the Nazis. Why would someone participate in such a retreat? How could anyone attempt to pray or meditate in a place that silences the heart and chills the soul? Filmed over a period of seven days, In Spite of Darkness tells the story of five retreatants—among them, a Rabbi, an atheist, and a Catholic priest—and how they come face to face not only with their own vulnerabilities and complicity but with new strength, peace, and glimmers of hope.
To order, visit the DVD section of Zen Peacemakers’ gift shop.