UAB hosts Pathways to Peace film series, Study Away in India

To prepare for an upcoming Study Away trip to India, UAB presents the Pathways to Peace film series Jan. 31-March 1.

As part of a planned summer 2013 Study Away program in India, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will present a six-part film series featuring seven feature-length films and a variety of short films.

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"The Dhamma Brothers"

The Pathways to Peace film series is co-sponsored by the UAB Department of Art and Art History, the Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences. All films are free. Each film screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium at the Hill University Center, 1400 University Blvd.

The films are presented as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Civil Rights Commemorative Series. For a complete listing of the college’s commemorative events, visit www.uab.edu/civilrights. The films are a prelude to this summer’s Pathways to Peace Study Away program, which will take place in Gujarat and Rajasthan, India, in July. The program is open to UAB undergraduates and graduate students as well as non-degree-seeking students. For more information, email cathleen@uab.edu or cynryan@uab.edu.

Thursday, Jan. 31: “The Dhamma Brothers”
“The Dhamma Brothers” tells a dramatic story of human potential and transformation as it documents the stories of a group of Donaldson Correctional Facility prisoners who enter into an ancient meditation technique known as Vipassana. The documentary screening will include discussion with Pradeep Jonnalgadda and UAB Associate Professor Alison Chapman, Ph.D. The evening also will include clips from the film “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana,” the story of a woman named Kiran Bedi, the former inspector general of prisons in New Delhi, India, who strove to transform the notorious Tihar Prison and turn it into an oasis of peace.

Friday, Feb. 1: “A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict”
“A Force More Powerful” explores how popular movements battled entrenched regimes and military forces with unconventional weapons, such as boycotts, strikes and demonstrations. Acts of civil resistance helped subvert the operations of government, and direct intervention in the form of sit-ins, nonviolent sabotage and blockades frustrated many rulers’ efforts to suppress people. The film will be shown in two segments, the first about Mohandas Gandhi’s civil disobedience campaign against the British in India, and the second about the sit-ins and boycotts that desegregated downtown Nashville, Tenn., with two short films, “Gandhi at the Bat” and “And Gandhi Goes Missing,” shown in between.

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"Finding Gandhi (aka Road to Sangam)"

Friday, Feb. 8: “Finding Gandhi (aka Road to Sangam)”
A simple story of a God-fearing, devout, Muslim mechanic who has been entrusted the job of repairing an old V8 Ford engine, not knowing the historic significance that it once carried the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi to be immersed in the holy river Sangam. He is caught in a complex political situation, and thus begins his journey of Gandhian values, principles and patriotism.

Friday, Feb. 15: “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin”
Rustin
was a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement for more than 60 years. He introduced Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence to American activists, and he organized the 1963 march on Washington, D.C., where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. So why do so few know his name? Rustin’s status as an openly gay man who served jail time as a conscientious objector during World War II guaranteed his marginalization during the 1960s among civil rights leaders, who feared he could be used by opponents to discredit their movement.

Friday, Feb. 22: “In the Footsteps of Gandhi” and In Gandhi’s Footsteps: Kiran Bedi”
In 2009, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King’s historic pilgrimage to study the nonviolent teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King III, Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis and a Congressional delegation retraced their footsteps. From the streets of Mumbai to the Taj Hotel, Young takes viewers on an unforgettable journey through modern India.

“In Gandhi’s Footsteps” is the story of Bedi, who has been compared to Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi. Bedi, a policewoman and reformer, has worked in the most dangerous and violent parts of Indian society and has found non-violent solutions. Among her innovations are retraining much-feared police officers into “welfare” officers; meditation sessions for prisoners, which helped calm violence in an Indian jail; treatment for drug addicts; and vocational trade schools for the slum-dwelling poor.

Friday, March 1: “I Did Not Kill Gandhi (Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara)”
This film explores the downward spiral of a retired Hindi professor as he falls victim to dementia. He believes he killed Mahatma Gandhi by accidentally playing with a toy gun. His daughter must now find out if her father was in any way responsible for Gandhi’s death and what exactly triggered this long-suppressed memory in her dad’s mind, and at the same time come to terms with the reality that his disability may have repercussions on her life also. The film also examines the legacy of Gandhi and how it affects daily life In India.

About UAB and 50 Years Forward
As an institution committed to service, excellence, diversity and community involvement, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a proud partner with the City of Birmingham in 50 Years Forward, the ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the seminal events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. UAB is joining with others to mark this enduring legacy in a way that looks to the future — to sharing new knowledge that benefits society, to advancing the cause of human rights while educating tomorrow’s leaders and to improving quality of life for all. Learn more at www.uab.edu/50yearsforward.

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