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Peace Behind Barbed Wire


Peace Behind Barbed Wire

Robert C. Koehler

As media ownership converges and technology “unites” us, the concept of national identity grows ever easier to exploit — and therefore, I fear, increasingly, and dangerously, simplistic.

This is the war on terror. This is the war on crime. They march on, despite the magnitude of their failures. They march on . . . because America is tough. America is exceptional.


This IS a powerful (and transformative) message:

"But one of the 40 films at this year’s festival, a feature-length documentary called Inside Peace, makes the point that the class, based on the teachings of Prem Rawat, reaches hard, desperate men and helps them begin, my God, to love themselves — to see the value of their lives, to grasp that the gift of existence is theirs to make the most of, or not. This is not the normal lesson of prison; mostly the millions of Americans who get stuck in the criminal-justice system never leave it. Inside Peace is about a few who do.

A year ago, writing about a film at last year’s festival called Hear Our Voices, about young people struggling with mental illness, I noted: “The film doesn’t present quick fixes, but it conveys a sense of awe about what’s possible.” This is a hallmark of the films at the festival: Much more is possible than we publicly concede, and learning about these possibilities opens up big hope."

Thank you, Mr. Koehler for sharing this.