Basel, Switzerland – More than 1,000 people saw the movie “Peacemakers” at the Theodorskirch during the first Festival of the Night of Faith that took place in Basel on 17 May 2013.
During seven screenings between 5:00 pm and 12:30 am, the 25 minute movie created and produced by Max Wiedmer and his team attracted many visitors in a contemplative atmosphere.
The movie tells the story of a young boy in search of peace and security. The silent story, performed by three main actors, alternates with biblical readings about creation, Noah, Moses, Jesus the peacemaker, and Jesus the Saviour. Each reading is set to a modern-day sequence that illustrates its message.
Musical snippets from children’s choirs, as well as from a men’s choir from the Mennonite church of Geisberg and from the multi-artistic show from the Lightclubberz (a group of Mennonite youth) resonated with the chosen themes which were highlighted with light-painting. Most of the sequences were shot in the region of Basel and its surroundings.
The technical particularity of the movie is that it was shot with a camera tilted at 90 degrees and shown on a vertical format screen 11 metres (36 feet) high which filled the whole heart of the church. The current and animated pictures contrasted with the location, an old gothic church, while perfectly occupying the vertical central space.
The movie project started in August 2012 and mobilized more than 30 people, mostly from Mennonite churches in Switzerland, in collaboration with members of other churches. “Peacemakers” brought a touch of peace theology to the Night of Faith event. An upcoming project is to eventually create a 90 to 120 minute film.
This first Night of Faith was planned by the Association for the Promotion of Culture in Basel and supported by Protestant, Catholic and Evangelical Churches. The goal of this festival was to link the arts to the church. More than 70 events spread out on almost 40 locations (public plazas, churches, theatres, cafés) were offered at no cost to the public: concerts, mime, dance, poetry, drama, literature, sound and light, miniature art. There was something for every taste.
Several thousand spectators walked or took the tramway from one place to the other and the atmosphere was friendly. Included among the 300 artists were the singer Nina Hagen, the mime Carlos Martinez and the American pop-rock group, Jars of Clay.
Article by Michael Sommer, editor Christ Seul, the French Mennonite monthly publication.