This two-part film explores a little-known thirteenth-century peace initiative in the Middle East involving Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malek al-Kamil. In 1219, during the Fifth Crusade, Francis took it upon himself to cross battle lines and reach out to the enemy. These countercultural efforts of Francis, a simple friar, and Malek al-Kamil, the leader of the Muslim forces of the Levant, made these men most unusual in their time. This video examines their efforts on behalf of peace in order to help us, in our time, negotiate interfaith misunderstanding and hostility, and other difficult encounters between conflicting peoples.
Kathleen Warren, O.S.F., is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, Minnesota. She holds an M.A. in religious education from Loyola University, Chicago; a master’s degree in Franciscan Studies from the Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University; and a Doctor of Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation, South Bend, Indiana. Since 2002, Sr. Kathy, a specialist in interreligious dialogue, has been involved in Muslim-Christian interaction, offering workshops and retreats around the country on topics related to peacemaking and interreligious encounter, particularly from a Franciscan perspective. Sr. Kathy also serves as a guide for Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, accompanying pilgrims of all faiths in exploring the message of Francis and Clare of Assisi by visiting the places where they lived and ministered in Italy.
Jayasri (Joyce) Hart produces, directs, and edits documentaries. In her independent projects, she explores little-known nuggets of history that have contemporary relevance. Roots in the Sand, featuring a California immigrant community of men from India and women from Mexico, offers insights into the complicated political landscape of U.S. naturalization. Sisters of Selma, about Catholic nuns in Martin Luther King’s Voting Rights campaign, is an immersive experience of a time and place where issues of race, gender, and social justice intersected in America. Originally from India, where she made programs for All-India Radio and Doordarshan (Indian TV), she now lives and works in the Los Angeles area with her husband, writer William Hart.