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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Documentary Making

I went to a video production tradeshow and saw the trailer to “Malatya” both in the same day. I am newly inspired to re-visit my old love, documentary-making.

For a number of years, I have wanted to produce a documentary: “Children of the Americans” – the story of an orphanage begun by two single American women in the 1940’s in Morocco. One of those grown up orphans is our friend, Sal Semlali. He was the person who introduced the story to us, and who is part of the story himself.

I wonder what impact those original 70 or so children have had on the country of Morocco and on the world. The orphanage still exists today, and I wonder how it has changed. I wonder about the real Morocco – its religious culture, and how its ordinary men and women interact.

The world of Islamic culture remains something of a mystery, and Africa itself holds so many secrets. I remember reading a story of the Berbers in 6th grade and how they built beautiful buildings in Spain and practiced advanced medicine in Europe and North Africa while most Europeans suffered in the Dark Ages. As a child, I also loved reading the Tales of the Arabian Nights and delighted in musing on the unique viewpoints and lifestyles revealed in those stories.

Now, as an adult, I am amazed that two unmarried American women missionaries could have accomplished so much in a country that, dominated by Islamic culture, allowed women no authority. How did those two women do it? Was the path opened up and protected for them by God’s divine will? Would political correctness condemn their work in this day and age?

Maybe I will have the opportunity to answer these questions and more. Maybe this is the right time.

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