g The Film Panel Notetaker: Roundtable to Discuss Interfaith Issues in Documentary, "Waiting For Armageddon"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Roundtable to Discuss Interfaith Issues in Documentary, "Waiting For Armageddon"

In conjunction with First Run Features’ January 8, 2010 theatrical release at New York’s Cinema Village of “Waiting for Armageddon,” a documentary by award-winning filmmakers, David Heilbroner, Kate Davis and Franco Sacchi, a special interfaith round table discussion will be held on January 7 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Puck Building’s Rudin Auditorium (295 Lafayette Street).  The discussion is free and open to the public, though seating is limited. RSVP to Pamela Cohn at pfunknmrk at yahoo dot com.

The event is being co-hosted by the Berman Jewish Policy Archives at NYU and the Research Center on Leadership in Action at NYU’s Wagner Center and outreach funder, The Fledgling Fund will host a reception with support from the Foundation for Jewish Culture.

During the roundtable, brief clips of the film will be shown followed by a panel discussion moderated by Michelle Goldberg, journalist and author, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World. Other panelists include David M. Elcott, Taub Professor of Practice and Public Service and Leadership, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Richard Cizik, past President of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Rabbi Justus N. Baird, Director of the Center for Multifaith Education at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City.

A Note from Filmmaker David Heilbroner:
"In the past forty years, the Evangelical belief system known as "Armageddon theology" has become a powerful political force in America—a theology which requires, among other things, the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and global warfare before Jesus can usher in a new, perfect world. To many non-Evangelicals, it appears as if this theology has been used to embrace and even justify war in the Middle East and an unquestioning support for the nation of Israel, all in the name of fulfilling Bible prophesy. With religious extremism and intolerance fueling so many international conflicts, frank discussion of these issues will hopefully help create a deeper understanding of the dangers inherent in pursuing political goals under a banner of religion, and ideally serve as a cautionary lesson to those who feel that "all is justified" when they pursue their God's plan."

“Waiting for Armageddon” explores the culture of 50 million American Evangelicals who believe that Bible prophecy dictates the future of mankind and that Israel and the Jewish people play pivotal roles in ensuring Christ’s return. The film raises questions regarding how this theology shapes U.S.- Middle East relations and how it may even encourage an international holy war. Using intimate portraits and archival footage to explore how literal belief in Biblical prophecy exerts a dangerous influence on U.S. relations in the Middle East, “Waiting for Armageddon” tells its story through the eyes of three evangelical families who are certain that upon Christ's Second Coming they will be “raptured” or lifted into the skies to join Christ while the rest of humanity suffers for seven years during “The Tribulation.”
The film then follows a Christian Study Tour group to Israel – among the tens of thousands of Evangelicals who pour into the Holy Land each year. A controversial, potentially explosive relationship between Christian Evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims emerges.

Directors Kate Davis, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi have been making award-winning documentaries for 15 years. Davis won more than 25 awards for “Southern Comfort,” including the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and she also won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming for “Jockey.” Heilbroner has made over a dozen films on social justice issues, and Franco Sacchi's recent film “This is Nollywood” was released worldwide.

Other Films from First Run Features:

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