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Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 - hARTsem DAYS: Celebrate the Arts and Spirituality at Hartford Seminary

Movie and Commentary: The Frontier Gandhi

Twenty-one years in the making, The Frontier Gandhi: Badshah Khan, A Torch For Peace tells the story of Badshah Khan (1890-1988), who led a nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent in the first half of the 20th century. Born into the Pashtun warrior society of the strategic North-West Frontier Province of the Indian subcontinent ? now Pakistan?s frontier region Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa – Khan raised a 100,000 strong nonviolent army of men, women, and young people. Muslims, as well as Hindus, Christians, Parsees, Sikhs, and Buddhists came together in the cause of peace, social justice, religious tolerance, and human dignity for all. Khan openly championed women?s rights and spoke of the inherent compatibility of Islam with nonviolence. He opened schools, fought for the social improvement of the least fortunate, and was unceasing in his compassionate embrace of the poor. Nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, Khan?s life and legacy remain little known. He died at the age of 98 having spent nearly 35 years in solitary confinement for his efforts to humanize humanity.

Filmed in Afghanistan, Khyber Pass, Pakistan, India, United States, and Canada, the film includes rare historical footage, candid interviews with world leaders, testimony from 63 of Badshah Khan?s nonviolent warriors ? most beyond the age of 100 years ? and a score by world music pioneer David Amram. Legendary Indian actor, Om Puri, brings alive the thoughts and writings of Badshah Khan.

Following the film, its director, Teri McLuhan, will offer a commentary that reflects how Khan’s heroic life offers a profound message of hope for these increasingly troubled times. There will be ample time for discussion and question-and-answer.

Teri McLuhan is an international award-winning filmmaker and best-selling author. Raised and educated in Toronto, McLuhan has been a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University and currently resides in New York City. She has written five books on sacred space and the core values of diverse cultures across the planet: Touch the Earth, Portraits from North American Indian Life, Dream Tracks, The Way of the Earth, and Cathedrals of the Spirit. Her films include The Shadow Catcher, a feature length documentary, and The Third Walker, a feature narrative film.

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