We've recently returned from an unforgettable weekend in Western Massachusetts, where Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home won the Best of Fest Audience Award for documentary at the Berkshire International Film Festival. The film was shown twice, followed by lengthy Q&A sessions with an engaged and inspired audience.
The second screening was especially exciting for us, as two of the film's subjects, Harold Brown and Cheri Ezell-Vandersluis, were in attendance. This was Cheri's first experience of watching the film with an audience, and we were all moved to tears at many points during the screening. Likewise, it was the first public screening for Kevin Bartlett, one of the two talented composers whose music comprises the film's score (the other is Joy Askew). Though Kevin had seen the film with us privately, he remarked that it was ten times more powerful viewing it in a theater with an audience.
Berkshire International Film Festival board member Maria Nation introduced the film as one that changed her life. Based on our interaction with viewers afterwards, as well as their written comments (see some of them below), it's clear that many others were similarly affected. So it was both a thrill and an honor to see this response reflected in their votes for our film, which led to the award.
We have three more screenings planned in the next few weeks, and we hope if you live near Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, or Johnstown, PA, that you can join us (see details in right column).
In addition to all these events, and in preparation for the DVD release, we have been working day and night on a new web site and print materials that will accompany the film. Time and again, we've heard from film festival viewers that they want to learn more so that they may continue on the journey of awakening conscience that the film has begun. To that end, our new web site, called Peaceable Journey, will be launched, along with a printed companion piece, shortly before we launch the DVD. We envision these resources being a valuable stepping stone not just for people who have seen the film, but for anyone beginning to explore the important issues touched on in the film -- compassion, non-violence, sustainability, and a global vision for peaceful co-existence.
We are ever mindful of the growing community of caring individuals all across the world whose invaluable advice, volunteer time and donations are what make our work possible.To you, we give our humble thanks as we continue on the journey to co-creating a compassionate future -- the journey home.
James and Jenny
Co-founders, Tribe of Heart
Tribe of Heart needs your support now, more than ever, to complete the Peaceable Journey web site and printed resources which will accompany the launch of the DVD. Please help us bring these much needed educational tools to people who are eager to put them to use in communities around the world!
Donations can be made online or mailed to:
Tribe of Heart, PO Box 149, Ithaca, NY 14851
Audience Comments from the
Berkshire International Film Fest
One of the most powerful films I've ever seen -- an inspiration -- thank you.
Well worth the wait! Not only is "the journey home" about our individual and collective journeys to truth and justice, but the animals' journeys "home." They are our teachers if we will only listen -- hear them -- and learn. Maybe this is "the one" that will awaken the collective. I can only hope.
This film made me decide to reconsider my way of living. THANK YOU.
It is time for all of us to stop closing our eyes to the inhumanity imposed on our animal friends. Bravo! Forever changed.
Amazing and powerful and a visceral experience... I appreciate all the beautiful emotional connections between the animals and people. I'm very moved.
It's hard to communicate the number of feelings that enveloped me while viewing this film. The emotions of the audience surrounded and touched me as an ocean of compassion.
Very powerful without being preachy. Very brave -- it's especially powerful to see farmers talking about this. I'm a "locavore" who eats "humane meat" so there's much to think about.
It was eye-opening, heart-warming and nostalgic. Reminded me of the feeling I had as a child growing up on a dairy farm and connecting with so many cows, calves, chickens, etc. It was an amazing story of bravery and courage on the part of all the people devoting their lives to making such a great change at such a huge cost (financially) -- but also, what a great reward in being able to live and express such love and kindness and compassion. The reward is peace of mind and serenity.
If I had any doubt in terms of my future direction as a vet student, the film dissolved it; I have no choice but to devote my life to caring for the animal victims of gross human indiscretion.
Very moving film. When I was very little I had a pet chicken, Elizabeth. At the end of the summer she went back to the farmer. I thought of her a lot during this movie. She was a great chicken. That was over 60 years ago.
Intense. Meaningful and significant. Big messages to share. Emotional. Thank you!
Thank you for bringing my awareness to a shift of consciousness that is happening on a global level... seeing this movie, today, will affect the choices I make in what I eat. The humanity and courage of the people in this film touches me deeply -- people living their values -- and that is what needs to change... beyond our prayers, we can make a difference in how we live.
Outstanding documentary filmmaking... the music was extraordinary as well as the visuals.
I am usually articulate, especially with pen and paper. I am speechless... I'd like to remember how I feel now and make the changes I would like to make. I don't want to become complacent.
I'm not entirely sure whether to thank you for this exposure or whether to wonder if this opens a whole Pandora's box of questioning a large part of our culture and daily life. It was a fantastic film, extremely well done and very tender. I will only know how it affects me when I get quite a way down the road. Good luck with this endeavor.
Your film was eye-opening and powerful. I'm leaving the theater with many questions for myself that I have previously avoided. Thank you!
I had seen "Food, Inc." and was touched by the idea of supporting the small independent farmer -- however, this film goes even further... I never realized (duh!) cows had to be pregnant to produce milk. I thought it was a natural result of their digesting grass, hay, etc. Another real eye opener.
Thank you for a beautiful experience.
So very moving and enlightening. I felt my heart breaking at the violence and cruelty. It made me cry to think of the part I have played in the misery of other living creatures. Thank You!
Fantastic, life-altering film... very important piece of work. Congratulations.
Thank you for the awareness of the possibility to change in a huge way.
Watch a preview of
Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home
Visit the film's official web site