Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home has a demonstrated ability to engage and inform people from all cultures and walks of life. While the film delves into a sensitive issue -- the ethical conflicts inherent in raising animals for food -- it does so in a non-controversial way, largely through the stories of people who were raised on multi-generational family farms. Audiences find these film subjects credible and authentic, and the information they share eye-opening. After screenings, viewers often remark that they had no idea of the level of moral struggle experienced by some children who grow up on farms.
Likewise, viewers often report that the film has given them a new understanding and appreciation of farm animals. Seeing footage depicting behaviors that clearly demonstrate the emotional depth of these individuals opens the door to reassessing assumptions about who these animals really are, and what our ethical obligations to them should be.
Early audience testing of the film with college students showed that over 93% would recommend it to their friends. This initial data was further validated by the awards the film won during its film festival run, which included Best of Festival awards based on both jury and audience voting, and Best Documentary awards at festivals focusing on themes of environmentalism and peace. Comment cards collected from individual audience members at festivals showed that many people found the viewing experience to be exceptionally rewarding, going so far as to call the film "life-changing." In all the thousands of comment cards collected at festival and community screenings, there were very few negative comments of any sort. This has also been reflected by the tone of post-screening discussions, which are consistently positive and productive.
Those considering sharing the film with others can have confidence in its documented ability to present what is often seen as a controversial issue in a way that transcends politics and the accompanying divisiveness, and instead, invites personal contemplation and thoughtful community dialogue. The film was created with the intent to open hearts and minds, not to tell others what to think or how to behave. As a result, viewers regularly indicate that they feel respected by the filmmakers and the film's thoughtful and sensitive presentation. This consistent audience response facilitates constructive dialogue in a wide range of contexts, opening the door to new forms of education and outreach.
The DVD packaging itself is designed to make sharing the film with others easier, featuring images and written content that invite further exploration. The bonus features on the DVD also help broaden the context of the film's message, offering ideas and opportunities for building bridges. For example, the mini-documentary "LOVE over FEAR - The Making of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home," with its focus on the creative journey of the filmmakers and the role that music played in the storytelling process, may especially appeal to creatively-inclined individuals.
Those with an interest in history, literature, animal advocacy or social justice causes may discover a whole new dimension of the film's message by watching "The Artist as Activist: How the Work of Harriet Beecher Stowe Inspired the Filmmakers of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home." This presentation demonstrates how the film is connected to a long history of artwork created in the social justice tradition. Specifically, it offers insight into the common challenges faced by anyone attempting to tell a story about a current injustice that is still widely accepted and woven into many aspects of society.
The "Introduction" and "Q&A" segments, when shown together with the film, offer viewers an experience similar to that of attending a screening event hosted by the filmmakers. These DVD extras also provide anyone who watches the film, whether on their own or in a small group, with answers to some of the most common questions that are asked after a screening, along with encouragement and suggestions for continuing their own journey of discovery. These and other resources on the DVD and the Tribe of Heart website, including this Peaceable Journey guide, are designed to allow those who are moved by the film to learn more, find support, and if they so choose, to participate in the effort to bring the film's message to even more people.
The selection of written audience comments in the right-hand column is representative of the feedback received at screenings of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, and show the willingness of members of the public to engage, intellectually and emotionally, with the film's message.
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