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Professor Bill Baker’s Film, Sacred, to Premiere in NYC


A few key things bind us all as humans: birth and death are two. In between there are also adolescent rights of passage, marriage, and aging.

For many, these momentous events are marked through religious rituals. Birth can be celebrated with a baptism or a bris. An Indian marriage ceremony is as solemn and beautiful as one held in Spain. And a funeral in New Orleans is as celebratory as an Irish wake.

Bill Baker

Bill Baker

Sacred, a new feature-length film, explores these religious rituals around the globe from birth to death. It is a rare documentary in that there are no narrators. The lives of the subjects tell the story alone.

The film will premiere at DocNYC Film Festival on Nov. 12, and Nov. 14 at IFC Center. It will have additional premieres at festivals in Amsterdam and Tokyo in the next month.

“It’s a beautiful film and truly profound,” said the film’s producer William Baker, Ph.D., Fordham’s Claudio Acquaviva Chair and director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy at the Graduate School of Education.

Baker said that the center was intricately involved in making the film for New York’s Public Broadcasting Station (WNET-13). The center also commissioned Juilliard composer Edward Bilous to write and score the music and recommended Academy Award winner Thomas Lennon as director. Patrick Ryan, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society, served as a consultant on the film, said Baker.

“We want to show how people of all faiths use their beliefs to go through life—from birth through our death,” Baker said. “There are great similarities; in a sense we’re all doing the same things.”

Read the full post at Fordham News.


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