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DVD REVIEW

One voice does make a difference

Peace One Day
Written and directed by Jeremy Gilley 
2002 $19.98 US (£10.89)

From the September 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal


WHAT'S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT A SINGLE DAY?

And what's important about September 21? Here's a hint: It's globally recognized, it symbolizes a growing desire for peace, and people believe it's worth having. In 2001 the United Nations (UN) backed an initiative to establish a global cease-fire day, also known as the International Day of Peace.

To simply summarize the film Peace One Day, you could describe it as a documentary that shows how one man, Jeremy Gilley, struggled to bring about this International Day of Peace. I would also call it a beautiful, empowering, and awe-inspiring cinematic effort. The film made me want to cheer, cry, and even dance out of joy and wonder. It made me deeply question what I can do to be more supportive of peace in my thinking, my country, my community, my home, and abroad.

Even though this film has no religious agenda, it nevertheless vividly illustrates the beatitude "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matt. 5:9). Peace One Day shows so powerfully that a desire—a conviction—to achieve good for the world does not come with an option to fail. Just as Christian Science shows that our individual unity with God is not optional and that our relationship with God can never fail. Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "[Divine] Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; . . ." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 260). In other words, God's power—not just our own—makes peace practical and attainable.

Watching this film, I began to realize several things about the word peace. Peace means more than a day to put down arms. First, I like to think of peace as a renewable resource that continues to grow through loving our neighbor. Second, peace comes from the active and constant affection God has for Her perfect creation. And third, peace is made visible to us through our love for God and for our fellow beings. And peace doesn't include idleness, nor does it mean simply a quiet vacation from reality.

Jeremy Gilley, the writer and director of Peace One Day shows that to work for peace is a never-ending process. The film brings home what the rewards must feel like when we take the stand to work for the cause of global harmony.

The story line of this film—the act of making a worldwide cease-fire day a reality—enthralled me. A completely peaceful world, free from all forms of violence, may be a long way off. But the steps we need to make peace happen can take place here and now, moment by moment, as we reject fear and live a life of love and integrity. That's what Jesus so wonderfully defined when he said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21).

The film answers the question "Can one person make a difference" with a resounding YES! I found it inspiring to know that help always comes in practical, sometimes unexpected, ways when one pursues a good, pure, and honest ideal—even something as grand as global peace.

I am grateful for Peace One Day's recording of a real-life, modern example of beatitude "Blessed are the peacemakers." This man's struggle for peace reinforces to me the fact that since we are all made in God's image, we are therefore innately good. That's why each of us can serve as an instrument for peace in some way. This film clearly conveys the message that a goal to achieve total good is possible. And that when we, as global healers, can choose to make deliberate and conscious choices for good, all of humanity benefits.

♦


Tad Blake-Weber is a Christian Science practitioner. He lives with his wife, Natalie, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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