In Spite of Darkness follows five participants at an interfaith retreat held at the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in Poland. The participants include a Rabbi, an atheist, and a Catholic priest.
Alternate formats: Digital Video - $7.99
Spirit Enlightened Film Festival 2010
Redemptive Film Festival - 2008
V. International Catholic Festival of Christian Documentary Films and TV Programs Magnificat - 2009
Videography/Cinematography; Use of Music and Religious/Spirituality
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. Widescreen.
Winner of several awards:
Redemptive Storyteller Award 2008
3 Silver Telly Awards for Videography/Cinematography and use of Music and Religious/Spirituality
The V. International Catholic Festival of Christian Documentary Films and TV Programs MAGNIFICAT 2009 for best documentary
16:9 viewing format
Extensive scene selection
58-minute classroom version
Director’s and Producer’s interviews
Loyola Productions Munich GmbH works in cooperation with Loyola Productions, Inc., in Los Angeles, CA. The company stands in the long tradition of Jesuit work and enterprises in the field of education and media. Loyola Productions specializes in making excellent, thought provoking documentaries. This international film company has recently produced films in the U.S., Germany, and Poland. The company also produces educational and promotional films.
Filmmaker Christof Wolf's "In Spite of Darkness" documents an interfaith retreat held each November at Auschwitz, the former Nazi death camp. This 2006 gathering follows a small group that includes a Zen master, an Israeli rabbi, an American priest, the daughter of a survivor, the daughter of a Nazi officer assigned to the camp, and others. In addition to prayer, meditation, and ritual, some remarkable activities occur at the five-day event. The participants assemble at the train stop that all of the camp's victims passed through before being sent into slave labor or to their deaths, congregate in the women's barracks to recall the long-gone inhabitants, and sing heartbreaking lullabies in the children' dormitory. In one segment, the rabbi recognizes that all humans (himself included) harbor the potential to dehumanize others. In a sense, the faithful here are reclaiming this ground -- marked by brutality, death, and monstrous inhumanity -- through prayer, while also purposefully facing the atrocities committed. As one participant remarks, the attendees don't want to stay stuck at the anger stage felt by many, but instead go deeper -- embracing the sorrow while still moving beyond to a place of peace. DVD extras include interviews with the director and producer. Highly recommended.
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