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Jenkins encourages dialogue through film series

Jenn Metz | Monday, September 10, 2007

The Office of the President and the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) have launched a semester-long film series called WorldView, a project aimed at promoting dialogue about religion, ethnicity, class and gender.

The first film, “God Grew Tired of Us,” was screened Sunday night to a sold-out crowd in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

University President Father John Jenkins introduced “God Grew Tired of Us,” the story of the Sudanese Lost Boys, as “a wonderful, beautiful film” that is “accessible, but powerful.”

WorldView is a partnership between the Office of the President and the CSC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the CSC. The goal, Jenkins said, is to use the arts to create a universal expression of solidarity.

“Film is both accessible and capable of high expression,” Jenkins said.

Sunday’s film was “intended for a particular, educational purpose,” he said. “I hope the series gives rise to conversations. … We come from different backgrounds and cultures that have a beauty that express God’s grandeur.”

Bill Purcell, assistant professional specialist for the CSC, spoke after Jenkins and said he hoped the series would help create a global community at Notre Dame.

“The arts are a way that we can lift up the human spirit in solidarity,” he said. “Film is one of the best ways to lift that up.”

Purcell had the opportunity to travel to Sudan and called the people “inspiring.”

“They are the holiest people I’ve ever met,” he said.

The film follows three refugees from Sudan to Ethiopia, to Kenya and finally to the U.S. Though the Lost Boys experience the worst kinds of suffering possible, they still hold out hope for their families’ safety and are able to achieve their dreams and reunite in America.

“God Grew Tired of Us” was directed by Christopher Quinn and produced by Brad Pitt. Nicole Kidman narrated the two-hour-long film.

Other films in the WorldView series to be presented throughout the semester include “El Norte,” “From A Silk Cocoon,” “Rebirth of A Nation” and “All the Invisible Children.” Director Gregory Nava, DJ Spooky and director Katia Lund are expected to appear at the screenings.

The series organizers hope a positive dialogue will come out of these screenings, Jenkins said.

“Film will help,” he said. “It’s a good start.”