“SACRED”: A GLOBAL DOCUMENTARY

December 11, 2018 at 5:00 am

Preview a monumental global journey that explores spirituality and examines the crossroads of faith and the human experience.

Aired on December 10, 2018.

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>>> WHAT ROLE DO ORGANIZED
RELIGIONS PLAY IN THE LIVES OF
HUMAN BEINGS?
DO THEY DIVIDE US RATHER THAN
UNITE US?
ALL TOO OFTEN TURNING THE
UNBELIEVER INTO AN INFIDEL AND A
THREAT, OR THE COMMONALITIES OF
DIFFERENT FAITHS EXPRESSED?
THE DOCUMENTARY "SACRED," WHICH
TOOK MORE THAN 40 FILM CREWS TO
25 COUNTRIES PROVIDES A HOPEFUL
ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.
HERE'S A PREVIEW.
§
>> IT MADE ME MAD ABOUT ALL THE
THINGS I DID IN MY LIFE.
THERE'S GOT TO BE SOMETHING
BETTER.
THERE'S GOT TO BE SOMETHING
BETTER.
BELIEVE FOOTSTEPS IN THE SAND.

§
>> AND JOINING US NOW TO TALK
ABOUT IT ARE DR. BILL BAKER, ONE
OF THE EXECUTIVE PRO-DIRECTORS
THE PRODUCER.
FOR THE FEW VIEWERS THAT DON'T
KNOW, YOU WERE THE PRESIDENT OF
WA-13 FOR MANY YEARS, AND THE
GENIUS WHO HIRED ME.
>> I WAS A GENIUS.
THE ONLY TIME MAYBE.
>> AND TOM, YOU'RE AN ACADEMY
AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR.
FOUR TIMES NOMINATED, ONE TIME
WINNER, AND I CAN'T PRONOUNCE
THE FILM, BUT IT'S A BEAUTIFUL
FILM ABOUT ORPHANS IN CHINA.
YOU KNOW, AS I MADE CLEAR IN THE
INTRODUCTION, BILL, THIS IS
TRULY A FILM OF EPIC
PROPORTIONS.
HOW DID THE IDEA OF IT COME TO
BE?
>> IT'S A REALLY INTERESTING
STORY THAT INVOLVES THE
BEGINNING OF THIS FILM.
AND THAT IS ONE OF OUR BOARD
MEMBERS, ONE OF THE CHANNEL 13
BOARD MEMBERS, A MAN BY THE NAME
OF GEORGE O'NEIL, WHO WAS
RETIRING, AND HE'S STILL ALIVE,
STILL WITH US.
AND WHEN I RETIRED, HE SAID I
WANT TO GIVE YOU A LARGE GIFT,
MY WIFE AND I, ABBY, I WANT TO
GIVE YOU A LARGE GIFT FOR A
PROJECT THAT YOU WANT TO DO.
NOT FOR ME PERSONALLY, BUT FOR
SOMETHING I WANT TO DO IN
RETIREMENT.
I THOUGHT ABOUT IT, AND I HAD
MADE OTHER SIGNIFICANT MOVIES ON
FAITH SUBJECTS.
I THOUGHT, I WANT TO DO A BIG
GLOBAL FILM ON FAITH.
AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY.
FIRST, AS YOU SAID IN YOUR
INTRODUCTION, OFTEN RELIGION
GETS BLAMED FOR A LOT OF THE
PROBLEMS IN THIS WORLD, RIGHTLY
SO.
HOWEVER, OF THE 7.5 BILLION
PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, 6 BILLION
OF THEM HAVE FAITH.
SO IT MUST MEAN SOMETHING.
IT'S THE WAY MANY OF US GET
THROUGH LIFE.
IT GIVES US A CENTERING OF
VALUES, IT GIVES US A CHANCE TO
KIND OF ORIENT OURSELVES TO
COMMUNICATING WITH THE -- ABOUT
THE MEANING OF LIFE.
AND SO FOR ME, TRYING TO DEAL
WITH THAT IN THE MOST POSITIVE
WAY WAS MY DREAM.
I HAD ORIGINALLY STARTED
THINKING ABOUT SACRED PLACES AND
A BUNCH OF OTHER THINGS.
FINALLY, WHEN IT CAME TO IT, AND
I HAD TO WORK REALLY HARD AT
RAISING QUITE A BIT OF MONEY TO
MAKE THE FILM, I REALIZED I
DIDN'T HAVE THE SKILL TO DO IT.
SO I NEEDED SOMEBODY THAT DID.
HENCE, YOUR OTHER GUEST, TOM
LENIN, WHO IS A GIFTED
FILMMAKER, WHO HELPED TAKE THAT
ORIGINAL DREAM AND IDEA AND
VISION WITH THE HELP OF THE
HEAVY LIFTING THAT I BROUGHT TO
THE PARTY OF BRINGING ALL MY
FRIENDS IN TO SUPPORT IT, AND HE
REALLY MADE IT SING.
AND THEN I TALKED FOR A LONG
TIME AS YOU KNOW AT THE JULLIARD
SCHOOL AND ONE OF OUR TOP
COMPOSERS DID THE MUSIC FOR THE
FILM.
SO WE HAD QUITE AN EXPERIENCE
HERE IN THIS MULTIYEAR EVENT.
>> CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION, DO
YOU KNOW ANY OTHER PERSON WHO
GETS APPROACHED BY A FRIEND WHO
SAYS I WANT TO MAKE A GIFT FOR
YOU TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT --
[ OVERLAPPING SPEAKERS ]
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> TOM, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
FILM.
I USED TO RUN A FILM UNION, SO I
KNOW FIRSTHAND THAT A SHOOT WITH
A SECOND UNIT COULD BE DIFFICULT
TO COORDINATE.
HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU CREATE
THIS BEAUTIFUL, SEAMLESS FILM
WITH MORE THAN 40 UNITS AROUND
THE WORLD?
>> IT WAS PRETTY NUTS, BUT THAT
WAS ALSO PART OF THE FUN OF IT.
BILL SAID YOU HAVE TO DO THIS
FILM IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
SO I DIDN'T WANT TO DO LIKE A
CROWD SOURCE THING WHERE
EVERYBODY SENDS IN WHATEVER THEY
WANT.
I WANTED SOMETHING MUCH MORE
CONTROLLED THAN THAT.
I WANTED IT TO BE A FILM THAT I
DIRECTED.
BUT I WANTED TO DIRECT IT IN A
VERY DIFFERENT WAY.
SO WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME
PLOTTING THE FILM OUT BEFORE WE
HIRED ANYBODY.
AND THEN WE GAVE LIKE REALLY
KIND OF MICROMANAGY, FUSSY
REQUIREMENTS AND WHAT LENSES TO
USE, WHAT STABILIZATIONS TO USE.
BUT THEN WE FOUND ALL THESE
UNBELIEVABLE FILMMAKER, SHOOTERS
ALL OVER THE WORLD, ALMOST
NOBODY SAID NO WHEN WE
APPROACHED THEM AND SAID LOOK,
WE WANT YOU TO BUILD THIS LITTLE
PIECE OF THIS LARGER PICTURE.
AND IT WAS AN ASTONISHINGED A
VENN C
-- ASTONISHING ADVENTURE.
>> I HAVE MY FAVORITE SEGMENTS.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STORY IN
THE FILM?
>> MANY SHORT PIECES.
ONE IS ALMOST SIX MINUTES LONG.
THAT'S A GROUP OF PRISONERS IN
ANGOLA PRISON WHO HAVE NO
PROSPECT OF COMING OUT ANY TIME
SOON.
MAYBE NOT EVER.
AND A FAITH THAT THEY CONJURE
LIKE WITH ENORMOUS CREATIVITY
AND CONVICTION.
THEY FIND FREEDOM INSIDE.
SO THAT'S MAYBE ONE OF MY
FAVORITES.
>> FOR ME, OF COURSE, SOME OF
THE -- WHAT WE CALL IN THE TV
BUSINESS, EYE CANDY IS REALLY
SPECTACULAR.
YOU KNOW, THE BIG GLOBAL
PICTURES OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE
WORLD.
SOME OF THESE GLORIOUS AND
BEAUTIFUL LITTERIT LITTERGIES.
THERE WAS A WOMAN IN
CONNECTICUT, AND HER THOUGHTS
AND ARTICULATION ABOUT HER LIFE
AND THE MEANING OF LIFE, SHE'S
DYING, HOW SHE'S DYING, PRAYING
FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
I LIKED THAT A LOT.
>> WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE IMPACT
THAT YOU WANT THIS FILM TO HAVE
ON THE VIEWERS?
AND WHAT IMPACT DID IT HAVE ON
YOU?
>> WE KNOW RELIGION AND FAITH
ARE A BIG PART OF PEOPLE'S LIVES
IN THIS WORLD.
TO CELEBRATE THAT, TO REALIZE
THAT WE'RE ALL KIND OF ALL
TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING, TO
TRY TO GET CLOSER TO GOD IS A
GOOD THING.
>> TO WHICH I WOULD ADD THE GOAL
TO IMMERSE YOU IN THOSE
EXPERIENCES AND GIVE YOU, THE
VIEWERS, NO EXIT EXCEPT TO THINK
YOUR WAY THROUGH WHAT YOU'RE
EXPERIENCING, HOW YOU'RE
ENCOUNTERING THOSE FOLKS, WHAT
YOU THINK, THERE ARE NO TALKING
HEADS, NO NARRATION.
SO IT PUSHES IT BACK TO THE
VIEWER.
OKAY, SORT THIS OUT.
>> AS DIFFERENT AS ALL THESE
RELIGIONS ARE, WE'RE REALLY IN
MANY WAYS THE SAME.
>> GENTLEMEN, YOU DID A
BEAUTIFUL JOB.
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL FILM.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
AND THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT.
>> FUN TO BE HERE.
>> "SACRED" APPEARS ON PBS
DECEMBER 10th.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR LISTINGS.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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