Among the selections, many who attended this years Sedona, International Film Festival sat in on multiple screening of Rooted In Peace. In this award winning, energetic quest for answers, filmmaker Greg Reitman takes viewers on a journey, crisscrossing the world and into the presence of notables, Deepak Chopra, and Desmond Tutu. Viewers hear the words and music of, Pete Seeger, Donovan, and Beach Boy, singer, songwriter, Mike Love. These and more share the experience of their lives as it applies to the central question: Peace – why is it so illusive? What will bring peace to our increasingly un-peaceful world? Also introduced to viewers is Britta, woman of personal interest to Greg. Soon the two are married and life goes on.
Life for Greg is, “The Film,” and his quest to answer the question; “How will we ever achieve peace on earth?” Viewers watch as the pressures of film making and frustration of semi interested Governments and International organizations leave Greg increasingly angry and difficult to live with. Reitman seems to be saying, “I want the world to be at peace and its making me mad as hell that so few people care enough to… to, do anything!”
Life for Britta includes observing Greg’s growing frustration. Thankfully, she provides the perspective Greg needs. “Ya gotta chill dude!” Britta says in effect. This leaves viewers sympathetic with both husband and wife but asking the same question. World Peace – what do we do? And at this point viewers come to understand an important point. If Greg is not at peace – if we, make that, “I” am not personally at peace – how can the rest of the world ever be?
The film takes a turn as we witness Reitman redirect his efforts toward the disciplines of personal transformation. This is accomplished in measure as Greg encounters the words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who said, “If there’s going to be Peace on earth, then everybody needs to experience that quality of Peace within themselves.” Boiled down, this reads, “We must be the peace we wish to see in the world” – a re-phrase of the words of the Mahatma, Mr. Gandhi, himself. So… this is great. We got it! World peace is just a meditative breath away! Or not. Actually, our problems have only been brought into sharper focus.
“Yes, but if everyone would simply pray and meditate! But you don’t believe in prayer. And you, over there – you don’t have time or the inclination to meditate?” Wow… So close, and still, so far. “I’m for world peace,” says the bikini clad, beauty pageant contestant. And we all laugh.
What is peace? Ask yourselves with me now; “What would peace on a world-wide scale actually look like?” Can we expect to see the dissolution of armies? Will we ever watch as the steel of guns and tanks, melts in giant crucibles? Will we see swords re-fashioned, now plowing the ground of former battlefields? It sure sounds nice, but really? How could this ever be? Closer to home does world peace depend upon how we act as individuals, how we treat each other? More personally, am I at peace with myself? If not, what would it take to be the walking, talking embodiment of peace?
Good questions…. interesting questions. In the end, Rooted in Peace, the film Greg labored to make requires me to ask them. In the end, this film asks us to ask ourselves, “Do we, do I – really want World Peace?”
Awesome article Tom,
Is it possible to fix the spelling of Britta and also Reitman
Let me know as id love to post!
Hey Greg… Got them corrected. I’d apologize – but the more I write, the greater the chance I’ll miss-spell something else!